Alaska Public Health Updates Vaccination Advisory

With 214 confirmed and 33 probable cases having been reported to the Alaska Section of Epidemiology since the mumps outbreak started in Anchorage last summer, the state says any Alaska resident who would like additional protection against mumps is eligible to receive a third dose of the MMR vaccine.

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services' Division of Public Health issued a revised vaccination advisory on Feb. 21 to provide updated guidance for the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine during an ongoing mumps outbreak. The outbreak began in Anchorage last summer and so far, 214 confirmed and 33 probable cases have been reported to the Alaska Section of Epidemiology, and there is no sign the outbreak is slowing down, according to the agency.

"Because we are beginning to see cases identified in communities outside of Anchorage, it is becoming ever more difficult to determine who is at increased risk for acquiring mumps and thus who should receive a third dose of MMR vaccine. As such, per the updated recommendations below, any Alaska resident who would like additional protection against mumps during the current outbreak, regardless of where they live in Alaska, is now eligible to receive a third dose of the MMR vaccine," the advisory states.

Updated from a release in December 2017, it says health care providers should ensure that all patients are up to date on their MMR vaccination per the routine Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices schedule; two doses of MMR vaccine should be routinely administered to all children, starting with the first dose at age 12 through 15 months and the second dose at age 4 through 6 years before school entry.

School-age children aged 4 or older years and selected adults born during or after 1957 who are at high risk of mumps exposure (i.e., health care personnel, international travelers, and students at post-high school educational institutions) and who has received only one dose of MMR should be given a second dose.

For those who participate in any group setting (e.g., daycare, work, school, church) statewide where mumps is currently circulating (such as a recent case in a classmate or a co-worker) or for Anchorage residents who self-identify as being Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander:

  • A second dose of MMR is recommended for persons who have had one dose of MMR that was administered at least four weeks ago, including children aged 1-4 years.
  • A third dose of MMR is recommended for persons who have had a second dose that was administered at least five years ago.

Any Alaska resident who would like to have additional protection against mumps during the current outbreak may receive a third dose of MMR vaccine if it has been at least five years since their second dose.

The Section of Epidemiology's mumps webpage is available at http://www.mumps.dhss.alaska.gov.

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