Public health officials are recommending people at increased risk of mumps during an outbreak receive a third dose of vaccine.
“The current routine recommendation for 2 doses of MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine appears to be sufficient for mumps control in the general population, but insufficient for preventing mumps outbreaks in prolonged, close-contact settings, even where coverage with 2 doses of MMR vaccine is high,” authors wrote in a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report(MMWR).
Mumps cases have been on the rise in recent years. From January 2016 through June 2017, there were 150 mumps outbreaks consisting of 9,200 cases, according to the CDC. Half the outbreaks occurred in university settings.
In October, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) reviewed evidence showing a third dose of vaccine provided additional protection and did not have serious side effects. The group recommended a third dose of vaccine for those at risk during an outbreak to help health departments respond to outbreaks more quickly and increase access to the vaccine. The recommendation was formalized in today’s MMWR.
“… public health authorities are uniquely positioned to advise parents, students, clinicians, and universities regarding when and for which groups a third dose of MMR vaccine is appropriate,” authors wrote.
The CDC said it will consider making a third dose routine as more data become available. Yvonne A. Maldonado, M.D., FAAP, representing the AAP Red Book Committee at the October meeting, said ACIP’s recommendation is a “good compromise” as the group awaits additional research.
The Academy will review the evidence and make its own recommendation.