In college – are you fully vaccinated? - 2017 information

In college - are you fully vaccinated?

If you are in college you should check to see if you are fully vaccinated.

MMR vaccine

Many young people have not had two doses of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine so are at risk of these diseases.

Measles outbreaks are occurring in EU/EEA countries – Romania, Italy and Germany have the most cases. As of 12 July 2017, the on-going measles outbreaks in the WHO European Region have caused 40 deaths in the past 12 months.  Ireland had a national outbreak last year with 40 cases reported.

There have also been recent cases of mumps in students in 3rd level colleges. Most of the cases are in young adults under 35.

Mumps can cause meningitis, deafness and inflammation of the pancreas or testicles. Measles can cause encephalitis (swelling of the brain) ear infections and pneumonia.

Vaccination with MMR vaccine is the only way to protect against these diseases.

In Ireland the first MMR dose is given by GPs at 12 months of age, and the second dose at 4-5 years of age is usually given at school by HSE vaccination teams.

If you have not had (or are not sure if you have had) two doses of MMR vaccine you should contact your GP to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

What about Student Health Care Workers?

Health Care Workers (HCWs) in  Ireland should have 2 doses of MMR vaccine. Two of the cases in last year’s outbreak in Ireland were HCWs.


MenC vaccine

There has been an increase in meningococcal C (MenC) disease in Ireland since 2013

  • 60 cases have occurred since 2013 
  • 20 cases have been reported in 2017

Men C disease is a serious contagious illness.

If you have come to college from another country you should check to see if you have had MenC (meningococcal C) vaccine.

MenC can cause meningitis and septicaemia (blood poisoning). Vaccination with MenC vaccine is the best way to protect against this disease.

In Ireland MenC vaccine is given by GPs at 6 and 13 months of age and a 3rd dose is given by HSE school teams to 1st years in second level schools but MenC vaccine is not given routinely in many countries.

If you have not had MenC vaccine and are under 23 years of age, you should contact your GP to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

Further information on MMR and MenC vaccines and the diseases they protect against can be found on


This page was added 14 August 2017