Immunity check test (blood test) against Mumps.
Most people have immunity to mumps once they've had mumps. It is quite rare but you can be infected a second time. However, if you were already infected, 30 to 40 % of patients have no signs or symptoms or illness. We call it an inapparent infection. If you don't remember if you already had mumps, we suggest you to have a blood test to check your immunity. We recommend the EIA format for the serologic assay that detects mumps for its efficiency. You can do these tests either in an internal or pediatric medicine facility. If the purpose of your visit is to check your immunity, health insurance in Japan doesn't cover it.
Vaccine is effective in preventing mumps.
The best way to prevent mumps is to be vaccinated against the disease. In Japan this vaccination is on a voluntarily basis.
The mumps vaccine is usually given in 2 inoculations. A child can be inoculated from the age of one year. One month between those 2 doses is required. Japan Pediatric Society recommends the first inoculation to be given at the age of 1-year old. Then a second inoculation should be given before a child enters school (between the age of 5 to 6 years old)
Possible side effects of mumps vaccine
Mumps vaccine uses live, attenuated mumps. For this reason, side effects like the swelling of salivary glands or a viral meningitis could occur.
However, mumps infection symptoms or complications are much more important than side effects of mumps vaccine. Therefore, the vaccination is important and you must not be afraid of side effects of the vaccine.
Cost of mumps vaccine
Usually the mumps vaccine is not taken in charge by the public medical health insurance. The cost varies from 4000 Yen to 6000 Yen per vaccine. Some local governments bear part of its cost. Please contact your doctor or pediatrician in advance, in order to be sure that the vaccine is available.