Photo above: a child with mumps (with swelling of the parotid glands in the neck)
There has been a lot of press in the vaccine community about recent outbreaks of mumps on college campuses. This caused a debate over whether students should receive a booster of MMR vaccine prior to starting college.
1. In the U.S. children receive MMR vaccine routinely at 12-15 months old and again at 4-6 years old.
2. By college age most people are still protected (but not everyone).
3. Outbreaks of mumps are uncommon but they do happen.
4. Current CDC recommendation is to consider an MMR booster in people at high risk of exposure to mumps in consultation with local health authorities. **This means that a graduating high school senior will NOT routinely need an MMR booster but it may be recommended if her/his college experiences an outbreak. This vaccination would likely happen on campus. This would be safe and would make sense.
5. Given medical privacy rules and the fact that most college students are over 18, families may or may not be notified of an event such as this (just like the fact that you will normally not get a copy of your child’s grades directly from the school).
Usual Pediatric Schedule:
- 1st dose (as part of MMR vaccine) at 12-15 months old
- 2nd dose (as part of MMR vaccine) at 4-6 years old