The Health Service Executive has said it is offering anyone aged between 11 and 30 a free dose of the MMR vaccine, to help counter the rise in mumps cases.

Last week the HSE said that outbreaks of mumps have become widespread around the country.

The offer is for anyone who has not had two doses of the MMR vaccine, or is unsure of their vaccine status.

The HSE said that parents and young adults should speak with their GP, or student health service and get the vaccine free of charge, for their child, or themselves if needed.

It said that children aged 11-18 and adults aged up to 30 have been particularly affected by the mumps outbreak and it is vital that parents and young adults are aware that the MMR vaccine is the only way to stop the spread of mumps.

During 2019, the number of mumps cases continued to rise and there were 2,762 cases, compared with 573 cases the previous year.

So far this year, 253 cases have been notified to the HSE.

Read more: What exactly is mumps and what are the symptoms?