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The mumps vaccine is administered in two combination vaccines which are commonly known as MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) or MMRV (Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella).

Mumps - What is it?

Mumps is a viral infection of the salivary gland caused by the Rubulavirus and was once a common disease in children and young adults. Due to vaccination, mumps has declined in Australia, however cases still occur. 

Mumps - What are the symptoms?

Mumps symptoms generally occur 12 to 25 days after infection and can include a fever, headache, generally feeling unwell, muscle aches and pains, loss of appetite and swelling of the salivary glands.

Some complications with mumps include swelling of the brain and deafness due to nerve damage. Adolescent and adult males may experience painful, swollen testicles. During the first three months of pregnancy, mumps infection can cause miscarriage.

This is not a full list of symptoms that can occur following mumps infection. Please speak to your doctor if you have any concerns about mumps infection.

Mumps - How is it spread?

Mumps can be spread from person to person through the air, such as when an infected person coughs or sneezes. This virus can also be spread through direct contact when someone touches a surface or object that has been contaminated with the virus.

People infected with mumps can spread the virus for up to 2 days before and for up to 4 days after symptoms appear.

Mumps - Who is at risk?

Since the introduction of mumps vaccination in Australia, mumps is now rare. Anyone who has not been vaccinated for mumps is at risk of mumps infection.

Other people may be at risk of mumps infection. Please speak to your doctor regarding your individual circumstances.

Mumps - Vaccination

Mumps vaccination is recommended and provided free for all children as part of the National Immunisation Program (NIP). Mumps-containing vaccine is usually given at 12 and 18 months of age.

The second dose of mumps-containing vaccine was previously given at 4 years of age in combination with measles and rubella (MMR vaccine). From 1 July 2013, the schedule was changed so children now receive the second dose of measles, mumps and rubella at 18 months of age in combination with varicella (MMRV vaccine). Children who have already received their 18 month vaccination for varicella only, will continue to receive the 2nd dose of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine at 4 years of age until all children have received 2 doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

Two doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine are recommended for anyone who is not immune. Anyone born during or after 1966 should have their vaccination records reviewed to ensure they have received 2 doses of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

If you are planning to become pregnant, please discuss with your doctor if mumps vaccination is appropriate for you.

It is important to complete the recommended course of vaccinations to help protect against mumps infection and help maintain immunity.

Mumps - Treatment

There is no specific treatment for mumps. Treatment is aimed at relieving symptoms and can include bed rest, drinking plenty of fluids, reducing fever and pain, cold packs to press against swollen glands and reducing contact with other people to lower the risk of transmission.

For information about Mumps immunisation in your area, contact your State or Territory Health Department or doctor.


Some side effects may be experienced following vaccination. Please discuss any side effects or concerns with your healthcare professional.




AUS/VAC/0026/15. Date of approval: April2015.