Health center offers free booster vaccines in light of mumps case

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TCU is offering a booster Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccination to students who have been exposed to the mumps and those who wish to take further preventative measures.

Three TCU students have been diagnosed with the contagious virus since Sept. 6.

Sophomore communications major Kate Tortorella said she received an email Tuesday, informing her that she had been exposed to the mumps by a student she shared a class with who was recently diagnosed.

“With the booster, I was told I was able to go about my regular business,” Tortorella said. “I just had to watch to see how I’m feeling and that if any symptoms end up occurring to contact the health center immediately.”

Vaccinations do not guarantee a 100 percent prevention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found two doses of the MMR vaccine are 97 percent effective against measles and it is even less effective against the mumps at 88 percent.

“The positive mumps case we currently have and the cases we have seen in the past were all vaccinated with two vaccines,” said Kelle Tillman, associate director of the Brown-Lupton Health Center.

Incoming students are required to have received the meningitis vaccine and two doses of MMR.

Students who received a full series of childhood immunizations would have received two doses of MMR, but it’s effectiveness wanes over time.

Screenshot from the CDC of a map that shows the range of mumps cases in each state.

The state of Texas reported around 50-99 cases to the CDC, but more may not have been accounted for because it isn’t mandatory to report mumps outbreaks.

The CDC warns these are major factors that contribute to outbreaks:

  • Crowded environments like attending the same class, playing on the same sports team, or living in a dormitory with someone who has mumps
  • Certain behaviors that result in exchanging saliva like kissing or sharing utensils, cups, lip balm or cigarettes

The Student Health Center is offering free MMR vaccinations Sept. 18 and 20 from 9 a.m to 4 p.m. at the University Recreation Center. Please contact them at 817-257-7940 with any questions, concerns or to schedule a visit.