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Should Teens Get a Mumps Vaccine Booster?

The outbreak in Delaware and in Montgomery and Chester counties in Pennsylvania raises the question: Does the mumps vaccine wear off?




The outbreak of mumps in Delaware and in Montgomery and Chester counties in Pennsylvania is drawing attention to the theory that the childhood mumps vaccine wears off for adults.

Philly.com reports that there have been 19 mumps cases in Chester County since March 13 and two in Montgomery County. The nine cases in Delaware are adults between 21 and 35 and the three outbreaks appear to be linked to a Feb. 10 dance in Wilmington, DE.

A Harvard study published this week recommended a mumps booster shot for 18-year-olds, particularly in light of recent outbreaks at colleges, including one on Penn State's Main Campus last year.

Mumps shots have been recommended at 12 months and again before a child starts school.

Earlier this year, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended adults at risk of getting mumps get re-vaccinated.

The CDC has not yet embraced the Harvard study's recommendation for a third vaccination at age 18, but if your child is going off to college, it may be something to consider. And if you think you might have been exposed to someone with mumps, health officials suggest talking to your doctor.
 

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