Medical alert as doctors urge parents to get urgent booster shots

Published: 21 March 2017


Parents are being urged to check they are still immune to a number of potentially deadly diseases, including mumps and measles.

The news comes after it was revealed last week that young adults, mainly aged 18 and 19, may not be immune to mumps despite being vaccinated as children.

It is understood there has been 21 cases of mumps in NSW alone this year, compared to just six at the same time last year.

While adults aged between 18 and 40 are reportedly behind the increase in measles cases, likely caught in places like Bali.

Additionally, there has been eight measles cases across the state so far in 2017, compared to just three at the same time in 2016.

There has also been a rise in the number of pneumococcal cases, with health experts monitoring the types of strains which may not be covered by the current vaccine.

According to reports there are believed to be about 50 strains and the current vaccine only covers 13.

Medical authorities are now reportedly considering whether to add a booster shot for mumps, while updating the pneumococcal vaccination, the Daily Telegraph revealed.

Immunisation Coalition board member Professor Robert Booy told the publication that “we are paying attention to the numbers and we are concerned.”

NSW Health Communicable Disease branch director Vicky Sheppeard is now urging Australian adults to check their vaccination status.

“When they were younger the immunisation program was evolving and doses weren’t always given as early as they are now and it relied on the school based catch-up which we know never reaches the same percentage of the population as early childhood vaccination,” she told the Daily Telegraph.

“There was no intention from these people to not be completely vaccinated they simply weren’t aware they weren’t.”

She also urged that it’s likely the current pneumococcal vaccine will be altered to cover more strains.