PULLMAN, Wash. – Amid a growing nationwide measles outbreak that includes a recent case in-state, Washington State University Health and Wellness Services is requesting that everyone in the WSU community here, including all university employees, take steps to confirm their measles immunity.
“We require all new students to provide proof of immunity to measles, but we do not have the same requirement for employees,” said Bruce Wright, executive director of campus health services.
“We know the majority of students – up to 97 percent – are vaccinated. We don’t know how many employees are vaccinated, and the health of our community is dependent on making sure as many people as possible within our community are vaccinated or have demonstrated immunity,” Wright said.
If a very high percentage of people in a community are immune to measles, it can protect not only the individual who is vaccinated but also people who are unable to get the measles vaccine because of health limitations.
“Preventative care and immunizations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, which includes the measles vaccine, are fully covered by the WSU employee benefit plans,” said Ann Monroe, assistant director of human resource services.
Employees who need help determining immunity or getting vaccinated should contact their healthcare provider or Whitman County Public Health.
Wright said that, while WSU is also encouraging faculty and staff at the university’s other campuses to review their measles immunity, the WSU community in Pullman is of particular concern because it encompasses a large, residential campus where a number of students live in relatively close proximity.
Simbiat Yusuff, WSU Health and Wellness Services, 509-335-6025