Free MMR immunizations available on campuses

By Joe Moyles

Over the month of September, MMR (Measles Mumps Rubella) immunizations were available to students on all three of the main campuses. Enrolled students born after Jan. 1, 1957 are clear for these vaccinations and future scheduled events.

MMR vaccinations were available on Sept. 21, at the Grant campus, Sept. 22 at the Ammerman campus, and Sept. 27 at the Eastern campus.

Measles is considered to be eliminated from the United States in the year 2000 due to an effective two dose vaccination, but it found its way back into the states after travelers caught the virus in other countries.

A very contagious illness, Measles and Rubella can be spread as easily as making contact with someone infected through coughing or sneezing, so it’s important in a college atmosphere to have such a virus eliminated. Measles is usually found in children.

Mumps is also a virus found heavily in children which results in painful swelling.

Suffolk Country Community College offers free immunizations for this illness every month or so, but a certain amount of requirements must be met that correspond with a student’s previous medical health.

“The vaccination is a two-step process. When you’re 15 months old you get your first vaccination, and when you are four years old you receive your second” said Ammerman campus registered Nurse Agnes Hahn.

Some students attending the college are missing one or both of the vaccinations, which poses a serious threat to them.

“The students who need their second vaccination are the most common,” Hahn said.

Students who don’t have any of the shots have to follow a different guideline.

“If a student has none of the MRR vaccinations, they would have to attend two of the immunization meetings and receive a dosage 30 days apart,” Hahn said.

The college also knows who the students missing any dosages actually are. Thirty days after the semester begins if a student’s records show that they are missing any vaccinations, they are notified and required to receive a shot.

For those unsure of their own status and believe they may be affected by measles, there are various recurring symptoms.

“You will usually break out in a rash and have a 100 degree or so temperature with a bad cough” said Hahn.

For students planning to study abroad, MRR can be a threat if underestimated.

A measles victim is suggested to be isolated and blood tested by a doctor immediately after symptoms are recognized.

Before setting off on a trip abroad, it is required that you either are born before 1957, have two documented MMR vaccinations, and laboratory proof of immunity or documentation of physician-diagnosed measles.

Plans for additional MMR clinics in the near future are underway.

“We don’t have an exact date, but we expect to have a few at the end of October,” said Hahn.

“Throughout the school year there should be plenty more, especially at the beginning of semester. Students should stay updated on campus updates on the college’s website,” Hahn said.

Students with health concerns are free to visit Kreiling Hall on the Ammerman Campus.

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