Increase in cases of Measles and Mumps

The HPSC are reporting an increase in the number of cases of measles and mumps in recent weeks.

Since the beginning of 2019

  • 49 measles cases have been notified 
  • 1289 mumps cases have been notified 

 

Vaccination with MMR vaccine is the only way to protect against measles and mumps.

 

Two doses of MMR vaccine are required to give the best protection. In Ireland, the first dose is given at 12 months by GPs and the second dose is given to Junior Infants in school by HSE vaccination teams or by GPs in Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim.

 

What should young adults and parents do?

Make sure you or your children are up to date with your MMR vaccines.

 

Please go to your GP for MMR vaccination if:

  • you have not had 2 doses of MMR vaccine
  • you have a preschool or primary school child who never had MMR vaccine
  • you have a primary school child who missed out on the 2nd dose
  • you are not sure if your child has had 2 doses of MMR vaccine

 

What about children who have only had 1 dose of MMR at 12 months and haven’t started primary school yet?

There is no change to the routine recommendations from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC): MMR vaccine is recommended at 12 months and at 4-5 years of age.

If your child has had 1 dose of MMR your child is age appropriately vaccinated and does not require the  2nd MMR vaccine until it is recommended. However if your child was a close contact of someone with measles the local public health office will contact you. 

 

What about children under 12 months of age?

There is no change to the routine recommendations from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC): MMR vaccine is recommended at 12 months and at 4-5 years of age.

However, MMR vaccine is recommended for children aged 6-11 months of age, travelling to other countries or regions where measles outbreaks are reported.

In most cases the MMR vaccine provides protection after 14 days.

The vaccine is available to healthcare professionals to order free of charge through the National Cold Chain Service.

NOTE: If MMR vaccine is given before 12 months of age, this dose is not counted as part of the childhood vaccination programme. MMR vaccine should be repeated at 12 months of age, at least one month after the first vaccine with a further dose at 4 - 5 years of age.

 

What about children under 6 months of age?

The MMR vaccine is not recommended before the age of 6 months for infants travelling to areas where there is a measles outbreak. The vaccine is not effective if given before 6 months of age.

 

Travelling abroad?

All individuals travelling to Europe and other regions experiencing measles outbreaks or where measles cases continue to occur should ensure that they receive the MMR vaccine if needed.

 

What about children aged 12 months who have received one dose of MMR already? 

Due to the ongoing surge in measles cases in many European countries it is now recommended that children travelling to Europe aged 12 months and older who have received one dose of MMR vaccine  at 12 months should also receive a second dose at least 28 days after the first dose of MMR vaccine.

Ideally vaccination should be completed 2 weeks before travel.

What about Health Care Workers?

Health Care Workers (HCWs) in Ireland should have 2 doses of MMR vaccine.

 

Further information is available at the links below:

The page was added on 11 April 2019