Study: Extra dose of MMR vaccine can help halt mumps outbreaks

A third dose of the mumps, measles rubella vaccine can help end mumps outbreaks, according to a CDC-backed study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

For the study, researchers analyzed 2015-2016 medical records of students from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. During that timeframe, the university experienced a large-scale mumps outbreak. While 98 percent of the 20,496 students at the university received the recommended two doses of MMR vaccine prior to the outbreak, 259 students still contracted the virus.

Amid the outbreak, 4,783 students obtained a third shot of the vaccine as a precautionary measure. Twenty-eight days after vaccination, students who received a third dose of the MMR vaccine experienced a 78 percent lower risk of contracting the mumps than students who only received two doses of the inoculation. Additionally, students who got a second dose of the MMR vaccine at least 13 years prior to the outbreak were nine times more likely to contract the virus than those immunized less than 13 years before the outbreak.

"These findings suggest that the campaign to administer a third dose of MMR vaccine improved mumps outbreak control and that waning immunity probably contributed to propagation of the outbreak," concluded the study's authors.

More articles on infection control: 
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