Sent on behalf of University Health Services
Dear campus community,
As you may be aware, measles has been in the news a lot lately, and California is now one of the states affected, with more than double the usual case rates thus far compared to this time last year, and several outbreaks though fortunately none yet in the Bay Area. Our campus community is quite well-prepared, not the least because UC Berkeley started requiring incoming students to be immunized against measles, along with several other easily transmitted infectious diseases, in fall 2016. However, compliance with this mandate has been imperfect and there maybe some people on campus, both students and faculty/staff, who may not have received the recommended two doses of MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine according to the recommended schedule.
We therefore strongly recommend you check your immunization records and if you do NOT see two doses of MMR (first dose after first birthday, and separated by at least four weeks),* strongly consider getting another dose ASAP.
Registered students (with or without SHIP) can drop into the Specialty Clinic at the Tang Center every afternoon this week from 1-4:30pm, no appointment needed. Vaccines are free for SHIP students; the charge for non-SHIP is $125, which may be reimbursable through your insurance.
Faculty/staff should discuss with their healthcare provider; some public health clinics also offer vaccines for uninsured or underinsured on a sliding scale or reduced cost basis.
Do bring any available immunization records with you. We can order titers (blood tests for immunity) if you are sure you have had either the disease or the vaccine and prefer to double-check, but be aware this may delay protection (and potentially cost more).
And while we have your attention… the FLU (influenza) is still rampant locally, later in the season than usual. Please do still consider vaccination, and stay home and rest if you think you have the flu -- you will get better faster and won’t infect those around you. Do feel free to call our Advice Line at (510) 643-7197 if you are unsure. Faculty, please remember that UHS does not provide “doctor’s notes.”
For an in-depth communication on the value and controversy surrounding immunizations from our Assistant Vice Chancellor Guy Nicolette, MD, please see Measles on my Mind.
Be well, and protect yourself!
Anna Harte, MD
Guy Nicolette, MD, CAQSM
Assistant Vice Chancellor
*People born before 1957 are generally considered to be immune, although this may change if there is a local outbreak. Some contraindications to the vaccine exist: pregnancy, AIDS and other severe immunocompromise, and prior anaphylaxis to the vaccine -- discuss with your healthcare provider.
If you are a manager who supervises UC Berkeley employees without email access, please circulate this information to all.