Home / Vintage / Photos of the mass vaccinations ordered during the great Auburn measles outbreak of 1989

Photos of the mass vaccinations ordered during the great Auburn measles outbreak of 1989

Twenty-six members of the Auburn student body were infected with measles in the spring of 1989. Only nine cases had been reported in the entire state during the previous five years.

According to a story by Cox News Service, the outbreak started when a Phi Gamma Delta fraternity brother caught the measles virus from a college student from Texas while on Spring Break at Daytona Beach and gave it nine of his fraternity brothers. Alabama’s state health officer spoke about Auburn’s situation in terms of “epidemic,” and considered quarantining the campus. They ultimately just went with cancelling class and mass vaccinations. (But when folks are making T-shirts about it—one of which we asked Alice to model for us in one of our first posts ever—you know its serious.)

Here are some old AP photos of students waiting outside Drake for their shots.

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They started Friday, April 29. According to Cox, nearly 13,000 were administered on Monday alone (which sounds almost impossible, but hey, never to yield). By late Tuesday afternoon, only around 1,100 out of 19,000 students remained unvaccinated.

Related: The Snorg Girl goes viral!

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