Measles cases have been recently documented in Vermont and California and are rising both domestically and internationally. It is critical that you obtain documented proof of immunity to avoid exclusion from work or summer programs in the event of a measles outbreak on a Middlebury campus. 

As we move into summer and welcome a whole new population to our campus, including students, faculty, staff, and family members from locations around the world, it is especially important to protect yourself and the campus community. Although the likelihood of an outbreak on campus remains low, the impact would be high for students, faculty, and staff. 

We understand that this is short notice, but we wanted to get this information to you now so that you can avoid exclusion from a Middlebury campus in the event of a measles outbreak. 

Below you will find the following important information:

What is Measles?

Measles is a highly infectious virus that causes fever, cough, conjunctivitis, runny nose, a classic rash, and sometimes ear infections and diarrhea. It can live for up to two hours in airspace where the infected person coughed or sneezed. If other people breathe the contaminated air or touch an infected surface, then touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they can become exposed.  

While two doses of MMR vaccine are considered 97 percent effective at preventing measles and one dose is about 93 percent effective, nonimmunized people have a high likelihood of becoming infected and spreading measles to others. For example, according to the CDC, measles is so contagious that if one person has it, nine out of 10 people of all ages around that person will also become infected if they do not have immunity. 

Outbreak Protocol

In the event of a measles outbreak, Middlebury will enforce the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Vermont and California Departments of Health, which advise exclusion from school and/or work for 21 days after the last case occurs for people without documented evidence of immunity. This includes people who have been exempted from measles vaccination for valid medical reasons. 

For example, if a student attending a summer program is exposed to measles and does not have valid proof of immunity, they will miss a minimum of three weeks of the session. This will have a significant impact on their ability to complete the program. Similarly, a Middlebury faculty or staff member exposed to measles who does not have proof of immunity may not be eligible to work on a Middlebury campus for three or more weeks. 

Please note that while it is possible for unimmunized people to avoid exclusion if given measles vaccine within 72 hours after exposure, measles vaccine supply cannot be guaranteed. Also, since measles patients can transmit the virus up to four days before knowing that they have measles, it is possible that someone who is exposed will miss the opportunity for post-exposure vaccination. 

Proof of Immunity

All incoming students, faculty, guests, and staff as well as all current faculty and staff who are working or studying on a Middlebury campus must demonstrate documented proof of immunity for measles, such as blood test results showing antibody against measles (Measles IgG test) or a valid record of immunization. See requirements and examples.

Partners and Children

Partners/spouses and children of summer faculty and staff who are living on a Middlebury campus must also have documented proof of immunity. Please obtain this documentation as soon as possible so that you can submit this information to Middlebury.

Individuals Born Prior to 1957

Individuals born prior to January 1, 1957, are assumed to be immune to measles and do not have to provide proof of immunity, but they will still need to provide an attestation of their date of birth using our secure online form.


Exemptions are for those who should not take the vaccine for medical reasons. Signed medical exemption forms must be submitted, but please note that an exemption will not prevent exclusion from campus during an outbreak. Individuals with medical exemptions should create and maintain a plan for immediate exclusion in the event of a measles outbreak on campus. Please obtain this documentation as soon as possible so that you can submit this information to Middlebury.

Vaccination Guidance 

People who were vaccinated prior to 1968 should be revaccinated with at least one dose of live attenuated measles vaccine (MMR). This recommendation is intended to protect those who may have received killed measles vaccine, which was available between 1963 and 1967 and was not effective. 

Two doses of the vaccine are recommended for all international travelers, healthcare workers, K-12 students, and undergraduate students living in dorms. Undergraduate students attending Middlebury are already subject to a separate documentation process and do not need to do anything further. 

The CDC has advice about how to get copies of vaccination records. The MMR vaccine is available through your doctor, and U.S. pharmacies offer easy online scheduling for vaccination.

Health Insurance Coverage 

Many health insurance plans cover the costs of vaccinations and/or antibody testing, but you should confirm if that is true for your insurance plan as well and also learn how it should be billed (i.e. in-network, preventative care).