Fans attending the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 car race in Indianapolis, Indiana on May 26, 2019 were offered the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine at the track’s medical center.1
Prior to the start of the race, which was attended by more than 250,000 people, IndyCar medical director Geoffery Billows, MD of Indiana University Health (IU Health) said the vaccine would be available in “very limited” quantities at the medical building near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. He encouraged fans to get vaccinated with the MMR vaccine before arriving at the race.1 2
IU Health offered eligible fans the vaccine if they met the criteria set by the Indiana Department of Health prior to receiving the vaccine. Billows said most insurance companies covered the cost of the vaccination.1
The decision by Indy 500 officials to offer the MMR vaccine was in response to what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and media outlets have described as a measles epidemic in the United States this year, with a total of 940 confirmed cases of measles as of May 27, 2019.1 3
In a related move, Indiana’s State Health Commissioner Kris Box has issued a ‘Standing Order’ that allows adults to get the MMR vaccine from any pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription.4
Earlier this year, there was an outbreak of mumps among students at Indiana University Bloomington who had been vaccinated with the MMR vaccine. As of the first week of May, a total of 31 students at the university were reported to have come down with mumps. Indiana law requires students to show proof of MMR vaccination by the end of their first semester.5 6
1 Associated Press. Indianapolis 500 Officials Will Offer Measles Vaccine At Race. NBC News May. 23, 2019.
2 CNN Libary. Indianapolis 500 Fast Facts. CNN May 26, 2019.
3 Dyson T. Measles cases in U.S. reach 940, highest count since 1994. UPI May 28, 2019.
4 Hackett DW. Should Indy 500 Staff Validate Their Hepatitis A, Measles & Mumps Immunities. Precision Vaccinations May. 23, 2019.
5 News Desk. Indiana University mumps tally rises to 31. Outbreak News Today May 7, 2019.
6 Fox59 Web. Indiana University reports 6 cases of mumps; doctors say even vaccinated students are at risk. Fox59 Apr. 3, 2019.