MMR vaccine proves costly for University

By Daily Illini Staff Report

Vaccinating students and hiring staff to administer the vaccine to control the outbreak of mumps on the Urbana campus has cost the University greatly.

Julie Pryde, Champaign-Urbana Public Health District administrator, said almost 3,300 Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccines were administered at the first two clinics conducted at the ARC; the next two clinics totalled to nearly 4,600 administered vaccines. She said most of the cost of providing the vaccine is paid for federally, however, the cost of hiring on new staff is not.

Pryde said the cost per vaccine is $71.50. She approximated it cost about $720,000 for the vaccine itself and nearly $250,000 for staff to administer the vaccine.

“We’ll easily go through a million dollars for the vaccine. Nothing is free, somebody is paying for it somewhere,” she said. “Just because we’re not paying for it doesn’t mean it’s free.”

Pryde said outbreaks like the most recent mumps case shouldn’t happen because they are preventable through vaccines; but said she believes they will continue.

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“We’re going to keep seeing these until people start vaccinating and get back to doing what the recommendations are from the (Center for Disease Control) and that is to get their kids vaccinated and vaccinated fully and on time,” she said. “We’re going to keep seeing measles and mumps and pertussis and chickenpox and things like that spreading.”

Christin Watkins contributed to this report.

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