Several varieties of mumps vaccine have been used since 1949, and at least 10 strains were in use in 2006:
The first vaccine was a killed mumps virus vaccine developed in 1948 and used in the United States from 1950-1978. This vaccine produced little immune memory, thus had a short duration of effect. In the U.S.A. it was supplanted by Mumpsvax and then MMR.
All subsequent preparations have been live virus attenuated by multiple passages through animal cells of one or more species. No human diploid cell vaccine is currently in use.
Mumpsvax is Merck's brand of Jeryl Lynn strain vaccines and is the Mumps vaccine standard in the United States. The Jeryl Lynn strains have been in use since 1967, and were believed to be a single strain until 2002.
MMR Vaccine (Measles, Mumps, Rubella Vaccine) is the most commonly used form of the vaccine, formulated in combination with vaccines for Measles and Rubella.
Leningrad-3 strain was developed by Smrodintsev and Klyachko in guinea pig kidney cell culture and has been used since 1950 in former Soviet countries. This vaccine is routinely used in Russia.
L-Zagreb strain used in Croatia and India was derived from the Leningrad-3 strain by further passaging.
Urabe strain was introduced in Japan, and later licenced in Belgium, France and Italy. It has been associated with a higher incidence of meningitis (1/143 000 versus 1/227 000 for J-L), and abandoned in several countries. It was formulated as MMR in the UK.
Rubini strain used mainly in Switzerland was attenuated by a higher number of passes through chicken embryos, and later proved to have low potency. It was introduced in 1985.
Monovalent mumps vaccine (Mumpsvax) remained available in the U.S.A when MMR was introduced. in the UK the introduction of mumps vaccine was by MMR replacing the MR (measles and rubella) mixed vaccine. No UK-licenced monovalent preparation was ever available. This became the subject of considerable argument at the end of the 20th century, since some parents preferred to obtain individually the components of the MMR mixture. One single mumps vaccine preparation imported into the United Kingdom proved to be essentially ineffective. Immunisation against Mumps in the UK became routine in 1988, commencing with MMR. The Aventis-Pasteur "MMR-2" brand is usual in the UK in 2006.
A different monovalent Mumps vaccine is routinely used in Russia.
Storage and stability
The cold chain is a major consideration in vaccination, particularly in less-developed countries. Mumps vaccines are normally refrigerated, but have a long half-life of 65 days at 23 degrees Celsius.