How Effective Are MMR Vaccines Against Mumps?

MMR vaccines against mumps

A health concern that was almost forgotten, mumps seems to have made a resurgence. Recent outbreaks have prompted scientists to reconsider the effectiveness of the MMR vaccines against mumps and think of new ways to make them more effective.

Recent Mumps Outbreaks

According to the CDC, more than 5,000 cases of mumps have been reported in 2017, and more than 6,000 in 2016. When we compare that to around 200 cases in 2012, it’s clear why the medical community is concerned.

Particularly concerning are universities, as a large number of these cases comes from their campuses. For example, more than 300 people came down with the virus at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Why Is It Happening?

Scientists believe that the disease is making a comeback because the effects of the MMR vaccine wear off after an average of 27 years. These findings were reported in a recent study which examined studies about the vaccine that have been published since the 1960s.

The researchers found that the vaccine’s effectiveness is directly related to how long it has been since the patient received their last dose. This caused the scientists to look into the possibility of administering a third dose of the vaccine at the age of 18.

Who Should Be Concerned?

People who are just entering college should think about a third dose of the vaccine. The effects of vaccination may have started to wear off, and they will soon be in close contact with many people every day.

However, getting the third dose is still not recommended, as we don’t know what effects that may have.


Since the effects of MMR vaccines against mumps seem to wear off after some time that may be the reason why we’re witnessing a resurgence of the disease. However, there is still no reason for concern – the disease is far from dangerous if you’ve had the regular two-dose vaccine.