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All about: Mumps Virus Vaccine Live

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Some commonly used brand names are:

In the U.S.—

  • Mumpsvax

In Canada—

  • Mumpsvax


  • Immunizing agent, active


Mumps Virus Vaccine Live is an active immunizing agent used to prevent infection by the mumps virus. It works by causing your body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against the virus infection.

Mumps is an infection that can cause serious problems, such as encephalitis and meningitis, which affect the brain. In addition, adolescent boys and men are very susceptible to a condition called orchitis, which causes pain and swelling in the testicles and scrotum and, in rare cases, sterility. Also, mumps infection can cause spontaneous abortion in women during the first 3 months of pregnancy.

Immunization against mumps is recommended for all persons 12 months of age or older.

Immunization against mumps is not recommended for infants less than 12 months of age, because antibodies they received from their mothers before birth may interfere with the effectiveness of the vaccine. Children who were immunized against mumps before 12 months of age should be immunized again.

You can be considered to be immune to mumps only if you:

  • received mumps vaccine on or after your first birthday and have the medical record to prove it, or
  • have a doctor's diagnosis of a previous mumps infection, or
  • have had a laboratory test that shows that you are immune to mumps.

This vaccine is to be administered only by or under the supervision of your doctor or other health care professional. It is available in the following dosage form:

  • Parenteral
  • Injection (U.S. and Canada)

Before Receiving This Vaccine

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For mumps vaccine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to mumps vaccine or to any form of the antibiotic neomycin. Also tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as gelatin.

Pregnancy—Tell your doctor if you are now pregnant or if you may become pregnant within 30 days after receiving this vaccine. Studies on effects in pregnancy have not been done in either humans or animals. However, use during pregnancy is not recommended, because mumps vaccine may infect the placenta, although the vaccine has not been shown to cause birth defects.

Breast-feeding—Mumps vaccine virus may pass into breast milk. However, this vaccine has not been reported to cause problems in nursing babies.

Children—Use is not recommended for infants up to 12 months of age. Children who received the vaccine when less than 12 months of age should receive another dose of the vaccine at 12 months of age.

Other medicines—Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Before receiving mumps vaccine, it is especially important that your health care professional know if you have received any of the following:

  • Cancer medicines or
  • Corticosteroids (i.e., cortisone-like medicines) or
  • Radiation therapy—May decrease the useful effect of mumps vaccine

Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of mumps vaccine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Immune deficiency condition (or family history of)—The condition may decrease the useful effect of the vaccine or may increase the risk and severity of side effects
  • Serious illness with fever—The symptoms of the illness may be confused with the possible side effects of the vaccine

Proper Use of This Vaccine

Dosing—The dose of mumps vaccine will be different for different patients. The following information includes only the average dose of mumps vaccine.

  • For injection dosage form:
    • For prevention of mumps:
      • Adults and children 12 months of age and older—One dose injected under the skin.
      • Children up to 12 months of age—Use is not recommended.

Precautions After Receiving This Vaccine

Do not become pregnant for 30 days after receiving mumps virus vaccine live without first checking with your doctor . There is a chance that this vaccine may cause problems during pregnancy.

Tell your doctor that you have received this vaccine

  • if you are to receive blood products or immune globulins within 14 days of receiving this vaccine.
  • if you are to receive this vaccine within 3 months of receiving blood products or immune globulins.
  • if you are to receive a tuberculin skin test within 4 to 6 weeks after receiving this vaccine. The results of the test may be affected by this vaccine.

Side Effects of This Vaccine

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Get emergency help immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Symptoms of allergic reaction

Difficulty in breathing or swallowing; hives; itching, especially of feet or hands; reddening of skin, especially around ears; swelling of eyes, face, or inside of nose; unusual tiredness or weakness (sudden and severe)

Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:


Bruising or purple spots on skin; confusion; fever over 103 °F (39.4 °C); headache (severe or continuing); irritability; pain, tenderness, or swelling in testicles and scrotum (in adolescent boys and men); stiff neck; vomiting

Other side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. However, check with your doctor if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome:

More common

Burning or stinging at place of injection

Less common or rare

Fever of 100 °F (37.7 °C) or less; itching, swelling, redness, tenderness, or hard lump at place of injection; skin rash; swollen glands on side of face or neck

Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your doctor.

Revised: 07/23/1997

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