On campus vaccination clinic set to open in response to global measles outbreak

The HSE is urging staff and students to receive the MMR vaccine

This Thursday, March 21, the Health Service Executive (HSE) will open a catch-up vaccination clinic on campus in response to the recent global measles outbreak.

The vaccination clinic is available to staff and students born after 1978 who did not receive a previous measles vaccine. However, College encourages those who are unsure about their status to nonetheless receive the measles vaccination, which consists of two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine.

Staff and students are advised to bring their Trinity card and PPS number to the clinic.

Dr David McGrath, Medical Director of the College Health Service stated: “Measles is a highly infectious disease that can cause serious complications, such as seizures, pneumonia, inflammation of the brain and spinal cord, and even death and the MMR vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and others from measles.” 

“The HSE vaccination team will be available at the Exam Hall on [Thursday], to answer any questions you may have”, he continued. 

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) shared that in 2023, “more than 58,000 people in 41 of the 53 [European] Member States … were infected with measles”. 

The WHO continued: “The [2023] numbers represent a rapid increase compared to the previous 3 years, and a risk for anyone in the region who is not protected. Sustained efforts are clearly needed to prevent measles cases from continuing to rise in 2024.” 

“Unvaccinated young children and pregnant women are at highest risk of severe measles complications.”

“Measles infection also weakens the immune system and can make it “forget” how to protect itself against other common infections, leaving children in particular extremely vulnerable,” the WHO explained. 

Already in 2024, five cases of measles and one death directly correlated to the virus have been reported in Ireland. Two or more cases of measles are regarded as an outbreak. 

The sharp increase in globally reported measles cases has led the HSE to issue a health alert to travellers, notably to passengers from an Abu Dhabi to Dublin flight that carried one confirmed case. 

The HSE is reviewing several other suspected cases of measles across Ireland.

Gabriela Gazaniga

Gabriela Gazaniga is the Deputy Editor of News Analysis and is currently in her Junior Sophister year earning a degree in Law.