School district to hold mumps vaccination clinic

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - With five confirmed cases of the mumps in the Paragould School District and four of those cases being from Oak Grove Middle School, the Arkansas Department of Health is recommending an optional measles mumps rubella vaccination clinic be held at the school.

According to ADH, the MMR vaccination shot is only 88% effective after two shots, which is why a third shot is being offered to only the middle school students.

"This will be a booster to get the spread of the mumps to slow down," Paragould superintendent Debbie Smith said. "This shot is just an extra precaution that is available to our students of course with parental support and endorsement but just getting that extra shot may make a difference."

Smith said after speaking with Dirk Haselow, an epidemiologist with ADH, this clinic will also help parents be more mindful.

"A packet will be sent out to parents that will include questions and answers parents may have about this clinic," said Smith. "This is just like a flu clinic but again this is in the hands of the parents if they want to get their child an additional MMR shot."

Smith said she highly recommends parents take advantage of the shot because in several places in Arkansas, this clinic has been offered and many school districts have seen favorable results.

"We want parents to do whatever they can to help stop this outbreak," said Smith. "Right now, this clinic is only being offered to middle school students because that is what ADH recommends since we have seen the most cases there, but that doesn't mean we won't offer this clinic again to another school in our district."

The MMR vaccination clinic will be held Feb. 15 at Oak Grove Middle School.

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