Temple University and Philadelphia city officials hosted the first of two walk-in vaccination clinics on Wednesday, administering 2,285 mumps, measles and rubella booster shots to Temple University students and faculty.
As of Wednesday, there are 106 cases of the mumps at Temple, with 18 confirmed and 88 probable cases, wrote Jim Garrow, the communications director for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. The clinics in Mitten Hall this week were set to have 1,800 vaccinations available, but public health officials have more on hand, said Dr. Steven Alles, director of disease control at the city’s department of public health.
Though a high number of people have already been exposed to the mumps virus since the outbreak began on Feb. 28, the boosters will help prevent the university’s “primary population” of those who have not yet come in contact with an infected person, Alles said.
“If you’ve already been exposed and you’re in that incubation period, there isn’t really a lot of benefit from the vaccine today,” Alles said. “That’s just the way it is…Protected from the vaccine today are the ones that haven’t been exposed yet.”
There will be another walk-in clinic in Mitten Hall’s Great Court on Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Department of Public Health is prioritizing students who live in on-campus residential halls and those who are members of student activities and sports clubs where cases have been reported, Alles said.
Employee and Student Health Services said in a Tuesday press conference that there are 19 students with mumps in the university’s on-campus residential halls, however, most of the reported cases are from students who live off campus, wrote Shondrika Merritt, the assistant director of University Housing and Residential Life, in an email to The Temple News.
Students who have roommates with mumps symptoms should reach out to their resident assistant or residential director, Merritt wrote, and UHRL will provide cleaning supplies and determine the best solution for students’ living situations.
Mumps cases were also reported outside of Temple, to nearby universities like Drexel and West Chester universities and outside Philadelphia, to Abington Senior High School and North Wales Elementary School, CBS3 reported. The department of public health is “not particularly” concerned about the outbreak affecting North Philadelphia residents, Alles said, because all the reported cases have been Temple-related in some way.