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Immunity to mumps from MMR jab ‘waning’

A rise in mumps cases in the first quarter of this year may be partly down to waning immunity afforded by the MMR vaccine, public health officials have warned.

Figures show there were 948 cases of mumps from January to March 2013 in England, up from 478 in the last quarter of 2012.

Although the numbers are much lower than in previous years when spikes in mumps cases have occurred, Public Health England says half of the latest cases were in people who had received at least one dose of MMR.

An update for health professionals states: ‘About half of all cases this quarter have received at least one dose of MMR vaccination in childhood suggesting some waning immunity may be contributing to transmission.’

Mumps cases were reported across all regions, although the majority were from the North West, South East, South West and Yorkshire and Humber.

The figures come as a national MMR vaccination catch-up campaign launched in April, is underway.


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