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Mumps vaccines safely prevent mumps. When given to a majority they decrease complications at the population level. Effectiveness when 90% of a population is vaccinated is estimated at 85%. Two doses are required for long term prevention. The initial dose is recommended between the age of 12 and 18 months of age. The second dose is than typically given between two years and six years of age. Usage after exposure in those not already immune may be useful.
The mumps vaccine is very safe and side effects are generally mild. It may cause mild pain and swelling at the site of injection and mild fever. More significant side effects are rare. Evidence is insufficient to link the vaccine to complications such as neurological effects. The vaccine should not be given to people who are pregnant or have severe immunosuppression. Poor outcomes among children of mothers who received the vaccine during pregnancy; however, have not been document. Even though the vaccine is developed in chicken cells, it is okay to give to those with egg allergies.
Most of the developed world and many countries in the developing world include it in their immunization programs often in combination with measles and rubella vaccine known as MMR. A formulation with the previous three and the varicella vaccine known as MMRV is also available. As of 2005 110 countries provided the vaccine in this manner. In areas where widespread vaccination is carried out it has resulted in a more than 90% decline in rates of disease. Almost half a billion doses of one variety of the vaccine has been given.
A mumps vaccine was first licensed in 1948; however only had short term effectiveness. Improved vaccines became commercially available in the 1960s. While the initial vaccine was Inactivated subsequent preparations are live virus that has been weakened. It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most important medication needed in a basic health system. There are a number of different types in use as of 2007.
- Mumpsvax is Merck's brand of Jeryl Lynn strain vaccines and is the Mumps vaccine standard in the United States. The Jeryl Lynn strains have been in use since 1967, and were believed to be a single strain until 2002.
- Leningrad-3 strain was developed by Smrodintsev and Klyachko in guinea pig kidney cell culture and has been used since 1950 in former Soviet countries. This vaccine is routinely used in Russia.
- L-Zagreb strain used in Croatia and India was derived from the Leningrad-3 strain by further passaging.
- Urabe strain was introduced in Japan, and later licenced in Belgium, France and Italy. It has been associated with a higher incidence of meningitis (1/143 000 versus 1/227 000 for J-L), and abandoned in several countries. It was formulated as MMR in the UK.
- Rubini strain used mainly in Switzerland was attenuated by a higher number of passes through chicken embryos, and later proved to have low potency. It was introduced in 1985.
Monovalent mumps vaccine (Mumpsvax) remained available in the U.S.A when MMR was introduced in the UK, replacing the MR (measles and rubella) mixed vaccine. No UK-licenced monovalent preparation was ever available. This became the subject of considerable argument at the end of the 20th century, since some parents preferred to obtain individually the components of the MMR mixture. One single mumps vaccine preparation imported into the United Kingdom proved to be essentially ineffective. Immunisation against mumps in the UK became routine in 1988, commencing with MMR. The Aventis-Pasteur "MMR-2" brand is usual in the UK in 2006.
Storage and stability
The cold chain is a major consideration in vaccination, particularly in less-developed countries. Mumps vaccines are normally refrigerated, but have a long half-life of 65 days at 23 degrees Celsius.
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