(HealthDay News) – Administering a third dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine reduced the village-wide attack rate by about 75% in a community experiencing a large mumps outbreak despite a high rate of previous MMR vaccination.

Ikechukwu U. Ogbuanu, MD, MPH, PhD, of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues offered a third dose of the MMR vaccine to over 2,000 eligible sixth- to 12th-grade students in a religious community in the Northeast affected by a large mumps outbreak, despite high two-dose MMR vaccine coverage.

The researchers found that, overall, 96.2% had documentation showing they had received two previous doses of MMR vaccine, and 80.6% chose to receive a third vaccine dose. The overall attack rate was statistically significantly reduced, from 4.93% before vaccination to 0.13% after the third dose was administered. In the village, the overall attack rate was reduced by 75.6% after the intervention, with the greatest effects observed in the 11- to 17-year-old age group.

“Our study assessed the use of a third MMR vaccine dose for mumps outbreak control in a setting with preexisting high two-dose vaccine coverage,” the authors write. “The findings suggest a potential role of MMR vaccine for outbreak control in such limited settings.”

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