MMR

Measles, Mumps & Rubella

Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) are serious diseases, which were very common among children prior to the existence of a vaccine. They can be spread person-to-person through the air and can be caught by being around someone who is already infected.

  • Measles virus causes rash, cough, runny nose, eye irritation, and fever. It can lead to ear infection, pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and death.

  • Mumps virus causes fever, headache, muscle pain, loss of appetite, and swollen glands, which can lead to deafness, meningitis, painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries, and in some cases sterility.

  • Rubella, most commonly known as the “German Measles”, results in rash, arthritis, and mild fever. If pregnant women receive rubella, it could result in miscarriage or her baby could be born with serious birth defects.
     

Who should get vaccinated?

Children should get 2 doses of the MMR vaccine at the following ages:

  • 12-15 months 

  • 4-6 years

Some infants younger than 12 months should get a dose of MMR if they are traveling out of the country ( this dose will not count towards the 2 routines doses described above).


Adults 18 years or older should get the MMR vaccine if they were born after 1956, unless they can show they have either been vaccinated or had all three diseases

 

People who should not receive the MMR include:

  • Anyone who has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to the antibiotic neomycin, or any other component of MMR

  • Anyone who has had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose of MMR or MMRV (Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Varicella) vaccine

  • Pregnant women

 

If the person getting vaccinated has any of the following conditions, a doctor should be informed before vaccination:

  • HIV/ AIDS or any other disease that affects the immune system

  • Any kind of cancer

  • Undergoing radiation therapy or using other similar drugs

  • Has low platelet count

  • Has received another vaccine within the past 4 weeks

  • Has received a transfusion or other blood product

Any of these may be a reason to not get the vaccine, or delay vaccination until a later time.

For more information on MMR vaccination call your local or state health department’s immunization program or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by calling 1-800-232-4636 or by visiting www.cdc.gov/vaccines.

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