In college or starting college – are you fully vaccinated?

If you are in college or starting college this year, 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.


From 1 May 2018–30 April 2019, 30 countries in Europe reported 11 795 cases of measles. The highest number

of cases were reported by Italy (2138), France (1745), Romania (1387), Poland (1052),Slovakia (816),the United Kingdom (778) and Germany (707),

In Ireland there has also been 57 reported cases of measles this year to June.                      

The majority of confirmed cases were not vaccinated or incompletely vaccinated.


There has been an increase in mumps disease with 1373 cases of mumps reported in Ireland to June 2019. In total 576 cases were notified in all of 2018.  Most of the cases are in young adults.

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

Meningococcal C (MenC) disease

Meningococcal C (MenC) 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).

MenC can cause meningitis and septicaemia (blood poisoning). Vaccination with MenC vaccine is the only 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 has been 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 on 2 August 2019