Over 190 University Staff Out-of-Compliance With Vaccination Directive
According to local media reporting, 194 University of Arkansas (UA), Fayetteville faculty and staff members were considered not "compliant" with the state’s previous mumps vaccination directive.
Jennifer A. Dillaha, M.D., with the Arkansas Health Department (AHD) distributed a Public Health Directive to UA faculty on December 13, 2019, focused on ending the current mumps virus outbreak on campus.
The staff/faculty directive followed an ADH directive on December 20th, requiring UA students to be appropriately vaccinated or be excluded from campus class activities. UA enrolled a total of about 27,500 students for the Fall 2019 semester.
As of early January, there had been 37 mumps cases identified at UA with the total dating back to September 2019.
The university notified faculty believed to be currently out of compliance with the Directive by mail prior to January 2, 2020.
Northwest Arkansas Democratic Gazzette reported on January 16, 2020, that Jim Coleman, a UA provost, said ‘supervisors are supposed to tell people to go home if the workers they oversee are not in compliance with the state directive.
The UA's faculty senate was informed that "at this point" there are 59 students who cannot attend class, including 16 with state-granted exemptions from vaccine requirements.
Arkansas law allows for exemptions from vaccine requirements for religious, philosophical or medical reasons. But the vaccination exemptions do not allow those affected by the directives to go to campus to attend class or work.
Previously, the UA athletic department addressed the mumps outbreak on November 25, 2019, when they issued this statement: ‘Consistent with a recommendation made by the Arkansas Department of Health for all University of Arkansas students and in conjunction with university efforts in response to diagnosed cases of mumps on campus, Razorback athletics is providing its student-athletes, coaches and staff access to an additional dose of MMR vaccine.’
A mumps outbreak is considered over when 2 incubation periods for illness have passed with no new cases have been reported. The incubation period for mumps is 26 days.
Mumps is a viral illness that can result in serious complications, although most people recover completely, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Unvaccinated people are 9 times more likely to get mumps than are people immunized with 2-doses of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, says the CDC.
For questions about the public health directive, contact the Arkansas Department of Health Outbreak Response Section at 501-537-8969. For more information, visit University of Arkansas Health Department.
Mumps Vaccine news published by Precision Vaccinations.