Why is the mumps vaccine required?
Many people are concerned about the potential threat posed by mumps disease. Ultimately, those who want a thorough understanding of why the mumps vaccination is required should understand some crucial facts about the disease itself. Everyone has their own point of view regarding this disease and the vaccination. Let’s get a brief idea of this disease and the importance of mumps vaccination.
What is Mumps?
Mumps is an acute contagious viral infection that leads to the inflammation of one or both the parotid salivary glands. It occurs due to the paramyxovirus virus. This is also called epidemic parotitis and generally affects people between 5-15 years of age.
What is Mumps vaccination?
Vaccination against mumps is not available in the standalone form. It is given to children in the combination formed and called MMR vaccine. It is an effective way to protect children against three potentially dangerous, yet preventable diseases including measles, mumps, and rubella.
As mumps transmit easily from one individual to another through the saliva or mucus of an infected person, this vaccine can reduce the risk of transmission to other individuals. It’s hard to figure out an infected person initially because no symptoms are observed. As the infection increases, respiratory problems can begin to show up along with fever and appetite loss.
Who should avoid getting MMR vaccination?
MMR vaccination is made for all but due to certain medical conditions, some are ineligible for it. In the following conditions, your doctor will advise to avoid the vaccination:
- Suffering from a cold or some other disease at the time of vaccination schedule
- Facing some adverse allergic reaction in the last MMR dose due to a particular constituent
- Pregnant women and those who are planning for a baby
Talk to your doctor before administering mumps vaccination if you are having any other disease such as cancer, HIV/AIDS infection, etc. that attacks your immune system. Moreover, a woman must get this vaccine 3 months before planning for the pregnancy.
When mumps vaccine should be given?
To protect your children from measles, mumps, and rubella at once, the following schedule by the Indian academy of pediatrics works:
- 1st dose at 9 months of age
- 2nd dose at 15 months of age
- 3rd dose between 4-6 years (can be given anytime after 8 weeks of the last dose)
Catch-up vaccinations are important for all unvaccinated children and adults. They are administered 2 doses with a gap of 4 weeks.
Will there be any side effect post MMR vaccination?
Yes, there will be some side effects but not major one. Someone who is going to get the vaccine may have to deal with the following:
- Soreness or swelling at the injection site
- Mild fever
- Minor rash
- Temporary joint pain and stiffness
What are some more ways to avoid mumps infection?
Other than MMR vaccination, you can also teach some preventive measures to your child which include:
- Avoid contact with the infected person or someone who is showing the symptoms like puffy cheeks or inflammation in the jaw
- Regular handwashing
- Disposing of tissues properly after use
Overall the mumps vaccination plays a large role in preventing the spread of this illness and should be administered regardless. The MMR vaccine can help provide long-term protection from the virus. This is especially important for children without a strong immune system or for adults who may not have been vaccinated in the past. You should also discuss with your doctor the catch-up vaccination if your MMR doses haven’t completed yet.