University of California Will Require Measles Vaccine

The University of California announced on Friday that the college system will require new students beginning class in 2017 to be vaccinated against measles.

UC made the decision to require new students be vaccinated against measles along with several other diseases as a result of the current measles outbreak. This outbreak is believed to have originally taken hold at California’s Disneyland in December of last year.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there have been 102 cases of measles reported so far in 2015. Measles is highly contagious and college campuses provide an excellent transmission ground since students are more often than not in very close proximity to one another.

These two variables are what lead UC officials to announce the new requirement. The university has been working on this plan for over a year and there seemed no better time to share to impending changes than now as the nation scrambles to find a solution.

The statement released on Friday from the University of California said, “The University of California will require incoming students to be screened for tuberculosis and vaccinated for measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, meningococcus, tetanus and whooping cough, under a plan set to take effect in 2017. Currently, the UC system only requires students to be vaccinated against hepatitis B, though several campuses have additional requirements.”

The medical director of the UC Student Health Insurance Plan, Dr. Gina Fleming, said “I’m really excited that there’s support and momentum for this new immunization plan. We know that these preventative measures are effective.”

Officials at the university state there would be certain vaccination exemptions made for students with medical or religious reasons.

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