The mumps vaccine is the best way to prevent mumps. The mumps vaccine is combined with the measles and rubella vaccine (MMR vaccine), so a person can receive protection from several diseases with one shot.
Mumps vaccine effectiveness has been estimated at 62% to 91% for one dose and 76% to 95% for two doses.
Who should get the MMR vaccine?
The MMR vaccine is provided free as part of your child’s routine immunizations. The MMR vaccine is given to children as a series of 2 doses. The first dose is given at 12 months of age. As of January 1, 2012, the second dose of the vaccine was moved from 18 months of age to 4 to 6 years of age. For children who also need protection against chickenpox (varicella), the 2nd dose of vaccine can be given as the combined measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (MMRV) vaccine.
The MMR vaccine is also provided free to the following people:
It is recommended that people born in 1970 or later get 2 doses of the MMR vaccine. This is especially important for travelers. People born before 1970 are generally assumed to have acquired immunity to measles or mumps from natural infection. However, there may be susceptible individuals in this age group, and those without a history of measles or mumps vaccine or disease should talk to their health care provider about getting vaccinated.
The MMR vaccine is safe. It is much safer to get the vaccine than to get measles, mumps or rubella.
Vaccines are available from public health units, doctors' offices and pharmacies (for people 5 years of age and older). Services vary across BC.
For more information about the vaccine, including the benefits, possible reactions after the vaccine and who should not get the vaccine, see the HealthLinkBC files:
Mumps is an acute viral illness caused by the mumps virus and is most often a childhood disease but you can also get mumps as an adult
There is less mumps disease in BC because of routine childhood vaccination programs
For more information on this disease, see the mumps (14c) HealthLink BC File.
Photo courtesy of Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. More vaccine preventable disease images
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