Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)Vaccine
The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine protects people from 3 serious viral
diseases. The diseases are spread from direct contact with droplets from sneezes or
coughs of persons with the viruses or from droplets that are in the air.
Measles. Measles is an infection caused by a virus. It starts with cold-like symptoms including
runny nose, inflamed, red eyes, cough, and fever. A rash that starts on the face and
then develops on the body follows 2 to 4 days later. It can result in serious complications,
especially in those with weak immune systems.
Mumps. Mumps is also caused by a virus. It affects the glands. Swollen saliva-producing glands
in the neck, fever, headache, and muscle aches are symptoms. It can affect the testicles
in males and cause sterility as well as cause other complications.
Rubella (German measles). Rubella is an infection caused by a virus. It causes mild fever
and rash in infants and children. Pregnant women who get rubella have an increased
chance of having babies with birth defects.
A combination vaccine provides protection against all 3 diseases. Another vaccine,
the MMRV, protects against measles, mumps, and rubella, but also against chicken pox
When are MMR vaccines given?
MMR vaccines are given in 2 doses to babies and children at the following ages:
Children with mild illnesses, even with fevers, can get the vaccine.
Some children should not receive MMR vaccine. These include:
Children who have ever had a severe allergic reaction to gelatin or to the antibiotic
Children who have had a previous serious reaction to the MMR vaccine
Some children with immune system conditions such as HIV/AIDS or cancer
Children taking medicines that weaken the immune system, such as steroids
Your child's healthcare provider will advise you about vaccines in these and other
Pregnant women, or women who plan to become pregnant within a month, should not receive
the MMR vaccine.
What are the risks from MMR vaccines?
As with any medicine, vaccines carry a small risk of serious harm, such as a severe
allergic reaction or even death. Receiving a MMR vaccine is much safer than contracting
any of the 3 diseases. Common reactions to these vaccines may include the following:
Severe reactions are very rare.
How do I care for my child after immunization with MMR vaccines?
Give your child over-the-counter pain and fever-lowering medicine, as instructed by
your child's healthcare provider. Do not give your child aspirin.
If your child has symptoms of a severe reaction, call 911 or get emergency medical
help. These symptoms include:
Changes in behavior