University of Iowa offers free vaccine to fight mumps outbreak - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

University of Iowa offers free vaccine to fight mumps outbreak

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) -

After more than 100 mumps cases have been reported on the University of Iowa's campus this year, the school is offering a free third vaccination for students under 25.

"Say if there's an outbreak in a couple years," UI student Maddie Anderson said. "you'll already have that extra fence of protection."

Nurses say students should have had their first mumps, measles and rubella vaccine at age one, and their second before kindergarten.

"It's our hope that the more students that get vaccinated with this third one will up our collective immunity to the mumps," UI nurse Lisa James said. "and then we'll slow this outbreak."

Some students say at first they were hesitant to get the vaccine, but after seeing their classmates get sick, they knew it was something they needed to do.

"I was a little bit reluctant to do it but then I was just like, you know, if I'm in the area, like, why not?" Anderson said.

"There's a girl in my building that has the mumps right now, in my apartment building," UI student Taylor Reyhons said. "so I thought it was important that I get [the vaccine] since I could be exposed to it."

Nurses say the vaccine is similar to the flu vaccine, in that it carries a small amount of the viruses to help people build immunity.

"It will stimulate your antibody response by introducing a little bit of the virus," James said. "It doesn't make you sick, it doesn't make you get the measles, mumps, or rubella, but it does stimulate that antibody response."

Nurses say untreated cases of the mumps could lead to infertility in men, hearing loss and meningitis.

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