Global Public Health



Document Type


Publication Date



Public Health | Public Health Education and Promotion | Respiratory Tract Diseases

Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement

The purpose of this Health Brief is to discuss the outbreak of mumps in New Zealand during the summer of 2017. The year saw more cases than the past sixteen years combined. The reason that New Zealand, a high-income country that generally does not struggle with communicable diseases, may be experiencing this outbreak is low vaccination rates in the 1990’s. It appears that there was a decline in coverage for the MMR immunization at this time due to several factors. These include a transition in the timing of the second dose of MMR, a change from four years to eleven years, and widespread concern that the immunization would cause autism in children, which has since been disproven. Pacific Islanders have also consistently had lower vaccination rates than other populations and have also been hit hardest by the mumps outbreak. Coverage for MMR has been increasing each year, so another outbreak of this magnitude should be preventable.