Health Experts Consider Third MMR Vaccine Dose Because of Rising Mumps Cases

MMR vacine

Federal health experts say the third dose of the MMR vaccine would only be administered as a precautionary measure, as more cases of mumps are being reported, despite patients being vaccinated twice.

Since almost a decade ago, mumps cases started to rise at alarming rates. Because of this surge, federal health officials are now weighing the option of administering a third dose of the MMR vaccine. Last year, as many as 5,000 people contracted the virus, a record for the last decade, said health experts.

Past Outbreaks

Last year, 19 cases of mumps were recorded in college campuses. Furthermore, Arkansas has been battling an outbreak that started in the summer of 2016 and has since claimed over 2,800 patients, a record for the state.

Mumps Outbreaks Across the Nation

Health experts say that unlike whooping cough and measles outbreaks, which also took their toll on the country’s population, the mumps outbreaks occurred in areas with high rates of immunization. Furthermore, residents of those regions reported they received a double dose of the vaccine.

On Thursday, February 23rd, federal health officials say they will investigate on whether an individual’s immunization decreases over time and if a third dose of the MMR vaccine is necessary. According to the local and state health authorities, the extra dose of the vaccine is only a precautionary measure.

Mumps Vaccine

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials recommend parents to vaccinate their toddlers. Hence, the first dose of the MMR vaccine (against mumps, measles, and rubella) should be administered between the first 12 and 15 months of the child’s life. For stronger immunization, the children will need a second dose of the vaccine at ages four and six, respectively.

According to health experts, the MMR vaccine is highly effective if a patient gets injected with two doses. Hence, patients vaccinated twice have an 88 percent stronger immune response to the virus, while those who get only one dose are 78 percent safe against mumps.

When compared to the other two diseases it keeps at bay, a single dose of the MMR vaccine is 97 percent effective against rubella and two doses of the vaccine are 97 percent effective at preventing measles. The nation’s vaccination program began in 1967. During that time, almost 200,000 cases of children infected with mumps were reported annually. Fortunately, by 2016, the prevalence of the disease dropped by 99 percent thanks to the positive effects of the MMR vaccine.

Image Source: Wikipedia

About Andreas Petersen

Andreas was too little to remember when he and his parents first set foot in America. He considers himself a true American citizen, but uses every opportunity to promote his Danish origins. He is deeply found of politics, all nations’ politics and generally looks forward to the presidential elections. His BA degree in Political Sciences has helped him get familiar to the constitutional frames of US and non-US nations.