Low vaccination rates fueling Auckland’s mumps outbreak

Auckland Regional Public Health Service (ARPHS) is concerned not enough young Aucklanders are immunised in the face of an unrelenting mumps outbreak.

“The majority of cases are aged 10 to 29 years as this age group has had lower than average immunisation rates,“ says Clinical Director, Dr Julia Peters.  Around 80 percent of the current cases were not fully vaccinated.

“Most people recover from mumps however some individuals can develop rare complications which we have already seen this year. I urge parents to check with their doctors to ensure their families’ measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccinations are up to date.  Vaccination is free,” says Dr Peters.

If you are concerned about mumps please call Healthline for advice on 0800 611 116. Healthline has translation services available 24/7.

Advice for health professionals – ARPHS

The most effective way to stop this mumps outbreak is to achieve high levels of MMR vaccination in the population.

  • We need MMR vaccination catch-up as Auckland’s teenagers and young adults generally have low MMR rates (for those aged 2 to 12 years – MMR coverage is about 80 percent).
  • Take every opportunity to promote MMR vaccination to parents and young people.

Read more: Managing the mumps outbreak ARPHS, 2017

Image courtesy ARPHS