After almost a year of shortage, the separate Mumps vaccine is now available again. Mumps, a usually harmless childhood disease that causes swollen facial glands, fever, and rash, is one of the diseases covered by the MMR vaccine (Measles and Rubella are the other two illnesses). The MMR is normally given at 1 and 5 years of age to provide protection from these three diseases. However, recent worry over the connection between the Measles component of the MMR vaccine and autism (see my blog on this has caused some parents to shy away from this triple vaccine at age 1. But parents do typically want their kids to be protected from Mumps and Rubella.
One option parents are following is to give the plain Mumps vaccine at age 1, Rubella at age 2, and then Measles at age 3 (if all is well with a child’s development). Because of this increased demand for the individual Mumps shot, along with the adult Mumps outbreak two years ago that ate into the nation’s stores of Mumps vaccine, the vaccine became unavailable last year. But now it’s back. Parents who have been waiting to get their kids vaccinated for Mumps should contact their doctor. See my related blog under FAQ’s with information on where to get the shot if your doctor doesn’t carry it.