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Mumps is a disease that used to be very common in the United States. In fact, before the mumps vaccine, almost everyone in the United States got mumps during childhood. But thanks to the vaccine, the number of mumps cases in Americans has dropped by over 99%.
There are 2 vaccines that can prevent mumps:
Mumps is a contagious disease — it spreads easily from person to person. And it can lead to serious complications, like hearing loss.
Although mumps is rare, infections can still happen in places where people are in close contact with each other — like schools, colleges, and camps.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent mumps. When enough people in a community get vaccinated for mumps, the entire community is less likely to get the disease. So when you and your family get vaccinated, you help keep yourselves and your community healthy.
Mumps is a disease caused by a virus. Symptoms of mumps include:
Most people with mumps get better in a few weeks. But sometimes, it can cause serious complications, like:
Mumps spreads easily through the saliva (spit) of an infected person. It can spread when someone with mumps:
All children need to get the mumps vaccine — and some adults may need it, too.
Children ages 1 through 6 years need to get the mumps vaccine as part of their routine vaccine schedule.
Children need 2 doses of the vaccine at the following ages:
Children ages 1 through 12 years can get the MMRV vaccine, which is a combination vaccine that also protects against measles, rubella, and chickenpox. Your child’s doctor can recommend the vaccine that’s right for your child.
Adults may need to get the mumps vaccine if they didn’t get it as a child. In general, everyone age 18 and older born after 1956 who has not had mumps needs at least 1 dose of the mumps vaccine.
Talk with your doctor about how to protect your family from mumps.
You should not get the mumps vaccine if you:
Be sure to tell your doctor before getting vaccinated if you:
If you’re sick, you may need to wait until you’re feeling better to get the mumps vaccine.
Side effects are usually mild and go away in a few days. They may include:
Less common side effects of the mumps vaccine include:
Like any medicine, there's a very small chance that the mumps vaccine could cause a serious reaction. Keep in mind that getting the mumps vaccine is much safer than getting mumps. Learn more about vaccine side effects.
Vaccine Information Statements (VISs) have detailed information about recommended vaccines. Read the VISs for vaccines that protect against mumps:
Last reviewed: January 2018