In light of the dozens of mumps cases reportedly linked to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus, school officials are calling on students to receive a booster shot of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine as soon as possible, even if they have completed the MMR vaccine in the past.

Mumps virus/CDC
Mumps virus/CDC

The goal is to maximize the number of individuals who have boosted immunity before the beginning of classes this fall. Students who are currently not on campus but planning to take classes on the Urbana campus in the fall should obtain the vaccine as soon as possible from their local provider or pharmacy. Immunity takes two weeks to develop after receiving a vaccination.

In order to facilitate access to this MMR booster shot, McKinley Health Center will operate a two-day special MMR vaccine clinic for students at the ARC Building on Thursday, August 6th and Friday, August 7th from 9 am to 3 pm. As an incentive to encourage a quick response, all University of Illinois students who present a valid ID card will be eligible to obtain the vaccine at that time at no cost.

Students who lack adequate vaccine protection, or those who are considered likely to pass mumps infection to other students, may be restricted from certain university activities, including classes.

Faculty and staff born after 1956 may also choose to receive a booster MMR vaccination, subject to the opinion of their medical provider. Immunizations are generally covered expenses through the University’s employee health plans.

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District will be present at the ARC Building on Thursday, August 6th and Friday, August 7th from 9 am to 3 pm to offer this vaccination to faculty and staff at no charge on those dates.