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Mumps booster and new shingles shot are part of new vaccine guidance

by Maggie Fox /  / Updated 
A pediatrician holds a dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine at his practice on Jan. 29, 2015 in Northridge, Calif.Damian Dovarganes / AP file

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New adult vaccination recommendations published Monday feature a booster shot for mumps in case of outbreaks and the new and improved shingles vaccine.

People over 50 should get the new Shingrix vaccine, which protect both better and more safely than the older shingles vaccine, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices says. People who already had the old vaccine can get the new one, too.

Plus, adults should get a booster of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine if they’re at risk during a mumps outbreak, ACIP says.

The recommendations, originally made in October, are published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and on the CDC website.

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In 2017, more than 5,600 people got mumps, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says. The year before, in 2016, 6,366 cases were reported.

Studies have shown that vaccinating people during a mumps outbreak can help control it. Immunity from the MMR vaccine can wane over time in some people, and the booster dose brings it back up.

That’s why ACIP says people at high risk of catching mumps during an outbreak should get a booster dose, even if they’ve already been vaccinated twice.

Related: Federal panel recommends new shingles vaccine, mumps booster

And the official recommendation for the new shingles vaccine is in the Annals, also. The older vaccine, called Zostavax, is a “live” vaccine. It uses a weakened version of the virus that causes both shingles and chickenpox. The new vaccine doesn’t use the live virus, but a genetically engineered piece of the virus. It cannot cause “shedding” of virus and can be used in some people with weakened immune systems.

“Two doses of Shingrix is more than 90 percent effective at preventing shingles and post-herpetic neuralgia (the pain that follows an outbreak of shingles),” the CDC advises.

"Even people who have had shingles or previously got Zostavax can be vaccinated with Shingrix to prevent shingles and the complications caused by the disease."

Separately Monday, a team at the Harvard School of Public health reported that vaccines could prevent up to 36 million deaths between about now and 2030.

Vaccination against measles will avert 22 million deaths between about now and 2030. Hepatitis B vaccines will prevent 6.6 million deaths and HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccines 2.5 million deaths, they reported in the journal Health Affairs.

“We looked at the effects of both routine and campaign immunization programs,” they wrote.

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