Friday February 23, 2018   Last updated 12:00PM
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Boost shot could cut mumps rampage

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An infectious diseases physician and researcher wants the Ministry of Health to offer a third dose of mumps vaccine to young adults in high risk settings .

Ayesha Verrall from the University of Otago, Wellington, says New Zealand is in the grip of its worst mumps outbreak in decades with more than 1000 cases over the past year.

Even if people have had two doses of Measles Mumps and Rubella vaccine as a child, protection reduces over time.

Overseas studies have shown that giving a third dose makes university students much less likely to get mumps than those who only had the two childhood doses.

The ministry has announced a school-based “catch up” campaign for those who did not complete two doses in childhood, but Dr Verral says it has still not put in place concrete plans for such as massive undertaking.

She says it should be extended to cover all people aged 10 to 29 in high risk situations.

 

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