28 Aug 2017

Mumps outbreak prompts Tonga vaccination review

7:10 pm on 28 August 2017

Tonga's Ministry of Health is reviewing its vaccination programme following a recent mumps outbreak in the Kingdom.

Since March, over 1600 cases were recorded, reaching a peak in June.

Measles, MMR (file photo)

Measles, MMR (file photo) Photo: 123RF

The chief medical officer for the Ministry of Health's Public Health Division Reynold Ofanoa said most of the people affected were between the ages of five and fourteen-years-old.

Dr Ofanoa said the MMR vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox was not included in Tonga's vaccination programme.

"But when this occurred I think it was raised during the discussion the opportunity of introducing the mumps vaccine," said Reynold Ofanoa.

Dr Ofanoa said improvements to Tonga's health surveillance system helped officials to quickly detect the mumps outbreak.