News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Third vaccine dose needed to protect young NZers from mumps


Urgent proactive action is needed to protect young people from the current mumps outbreak in New Zealand, says Dr Ayesha Verrall, an infectious diseases physician and researcher at the University of Otago, Wellington,

New Zealand is in the grip of its worst mumps outbreak in decades. The outbreak started in Auckland early last year and was initially focused on five schools in the west of the city. Since then there have been more than 1000 cases with some spreading to other centres around the country.

“Young adults in high risk settings can benefit from a third dose of the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, even if they completed their two doses as a child,” suggests Dr Verrall.

“The vaccine is about 90 per cent effective against mumps, but its protection reduces over time so young adults who received two doses might have lost their protection from the vaccine.

“Previously vaccinated people need to know that they might also be susceptible. Failing to communicate this risks undermining public confidence in vaccines,” says Dr Verrall.

Overseas studies have shown that giving a third dose makes university students much less likely to get mumps than those who only had the two childhood doses.

“Failing to address this fact limits our ability to respond to control the outbreak, meaning mumps will disrupt education, sports and community activities for young people for the next several years,” says Dr Verrall.

“As New Zealand students return to school and travel to tertiary institutions around the country, the Ministry of Health needs to urgently fund and offer a third dose to these people aged 10 to 29 even if they have received two doses already,” she suggests.

“The outbreak is the result of a perfect storm of low childhood vaccination in today’s young adults, as well as waning vaccine protection over time in those who were vaccinated in childhood,” says Dr Verrall.

“This catch up campaign is too little, too late,” she says. “A third dose of MMR vaccine is also needed to protect those who had two doses in childhood.”

In December 2017, 11 months after the start of the outbreak, the Ministry of Health announced a school-based “catch up” campaign for those who did not complete two doses in childhood but concrete plans for this massive undertaking are yet to be put in place.

“New Zealand needed to start a catch-up vaccination campaign for adolescents and young adults five years ago if we were serious about preventing this outbreak. But starting one during this historically large outbreak will have limited benefit,” says Dr Verrall.
Read more detail on Dr Verrall’s blog here: https://sciblogs.co.nz/guestwork/2018/02/12/cant-catch-mumps-outbreak/

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: And The Oscar Goes To … Parasite
For its deliciously dark wit and genre-bending ingenuity, Bong Joon-ho's latest movie has just won four out of a potential six Academy Awards, including Best Screenplay and Director. Only ten foreign-language films have previously been nominated for Best Picture and none have won before. More>>

Howard Davis: 1917's 1,000 Yard Stare

Sam Mendes has created a terrible and barbarous trek, one that we appreciate all the more for being catapulted right into the midst of this ear-splitting melee from the film's opening sequence. More>>


Floorball: NZ To Host World Cup Of Floorball In 2022

In a major coup for a minnow nation in the European-dominated sport of floorball, New Zealand has won the rights to host one of the sport’s marque international events. More>>

National Voyage Continues: Tuia 250 Ends

Tuia 250 has unleashed an unstoppable desire to keep moving forward and continue the kōrero about who we are, say the co-chairs of the Tuia 250 National Coordinating Committee, Dame Jenny Shipley and Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr. More>>

ALSO:

Over 150 Productions: NZ Fringe 2020 Has Launched

The upcoming festival will be held at 40 venues all over Wellington Region from 28 February to 21 March, and includes every genre possible—theatre, comedy, dance, music, clowning, cabaret, visual art, children’s shows and more! More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 


 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland