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Before the measles–mumps–rubella (MMR) vaccination was widely offered, the epidemiologic data about mumps (morbidity, immunization level, vaccine coverage) were analyzed in Piedmont region (Italy). The disease had a 3- to 5-year epidemic recurrence with morbidity rate between 40 and 150/100,000; the surveillance conducted by ‘sentinel’ pediatricians showed that the notifications underestimated the real data by about 5- to 7-fold. The 12-year-old subjects showed an immunization level (reached by the disease or the vaccination) of about 50% and their parents tended to refuse the MMR vaccination. Only 54% of the 3- to 5-year-old children received the MMR vaccine in the second year of life and the frequency of the vaccination failure was about 10%. The strategy of vaccination should take into account this epidemiologic pattern, to program an offer adequate to reach mumps control/elimination; the strategy of our region should include the active offer in the second year of life to reach higher coverage, a second offer at 4–6 and/or 12 years of life, when other vaccinations are given and the choice of a highly efficacious vaccine. The improvement of the notification system could also allow a more sensitive surveillance of epidemiologic patterns.