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Prevention - Mumps

You can protect your child against mumps. Make sure they're given the combined MMR vaccine for mumps, measles and rubella.

The MMR vaccine is part of the routine HSE childhood immunisation schedule.

Getting the vaccine

In Ireland, the first MMR dose is given at 12 months of age.

Children should get a second dose at 4-5 years of age. This is usually given at school by the HSE’s school immunisation teams but in some areas, it is given by the child’s GP.

Once both doses are given, the vaccine provides 95% protection against mumps.

The MMR vaccine can be given at any age. It's important that students starting college have had 2 doses of the MMR vaccine.

Older children and young adults who have not had both doses should be vaccinated as soon as possible.

If you're not sure if your children have had the 2 doses, they can receive the vaccine again. A third dose of MMR won’t cause any harm. 

Parents and young adults should speak with their GP or student health service. You can get the vaccine free of charge for your child or yourself if needed. 

Preventing the spread of mumps

Mumps is an infectious and dangerous illness. It spreads in homes, crèches, playgroups, camps, schools and colleges. It can be a serious illness and can have life-changing repercussions in some instances.

If you have mumps you should stay home from work, school or college during the infectious period. This is to lower the possibility of transmitting the virus to non-immune people.  The infectious period is usually for 5 days after onset of symptoms.

Content supplied by the NHS and adapted for Ireland by the HSE

Page last reviewed: 22 April 2020
Next review due: 22 April 2023

This project has received funding from the Government of Ireland’s Sláintecare Integration Fund 2019 under Grant Agreement Number 123.