Third dose of 11R vaccine may help curb mumps outbreaks

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 19, 2012

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Administering a third dose of the measles, mumps and rubella immunization might help control mumps outbreaks among populations that have high coverage of the recommended two doses of MMR vaccine, said a study published online Nov. 5 in Pediatrics.

During the 2009-10 mumps outbreak in the Northeast, the mumps attack rate for Orange County, N.Y., youths declined from 4.9% before a third dose of MMR vaccine was administered to 0.1% after the third dose was offered, the study said.

The overall mumps attack rate for the Orange County community fell from 0.9% before a third MMR vaccine dose to 0.2% after a third dose was administered, data show.

There were 3,502 mumps cases related to the Northeast outbreak that were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between June 1, 2009, and June 30, 2010, the study said. Twenty-three percent of those incidents occurred in people who live in Orange County (link).

Because a high proportion of the mumps cases were among students in grades six through 12, a school-based vaccination was implemented.

The CDC recommends that children receive two doses of MMR vaccine. One dose is suggested between 12 and 15 months of age, and the other should be administered between ages 4 and 6.

The study authors said their findings do not support the routine use of a third dose of MMR vaccine. They say more research is needed to verify their findings and help scientists better understand the dynamics of mumps immunity and the protection offered by the current immunization.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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