Home > MMR Vaccine (Measles, Mumps and Rubella): What You Need to Know
Measles, mumps, and rubella are serious diseases. Before vaccines, they were very common, especially among children.
These diseases spread from person to person through the air. You can easily catch them by being around someone who is already infected.
Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine can protect children (and adults) from all three of these diseases.
Thanks to successful vaccination programs these diseases are much less common in the U.S. than they used to be. But if we stopped vaccinating they would return.
Children should get 2 doses of MMR vaccine:
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 toward their routine series.)
Some adults should also get MMR vaccine: Generally, anyone 18 years of age or older who was born after 1956 should get at least one dose of MMR vaccine, unless they can show that they have either been vaccinated or had all three diseases.
MMR vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.
Children between 1 and 12 years of age can get a "combination" vaccine called MMRV, which contains both MMR and varicella (chickenpox) vaccines. There is a separate Vaccine Information Statement for MMRV.
Any of these might be a reason to not get the vaccine, or delay vaccination until later.
A vaccine, like any medicine, is capable of causing serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions.
The risk of MMR vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small.
Getting MMR vaccine is much safer than getting measles, mumps or rubella.
Most people who get MMR vaccine do not have any serious problems with it.
If these problems occur, it is usually within 6-14 days after the shot. They occur less often after the second dose.
These are so rare that it is hard to tell whether they are caused by the vaccine.
Signs of a severe allergic reaction can include hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, and weakness. These would start a few minutes to a few hours after the vaccination.
VAERS is only for reporting reactions. They do not give medical advice.
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is a federal program that was created to compensate people who may have been injured by certain vaccines.
Persons who believe they may have been injured by a vaccine can learn about the program and about filing a claim by calling 1-800-338-2382 or visiting the VICP website at www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation.
Vaccine Information Statement (Interim)
42 U.S.C. § 300aa-26
Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Many Vaccine Information Statements are available in Spanish and other languages. See www.immunize.org/vis.
Muchas hojas de información sobre vacunas están disponibles en español y en otros idiomas. Visite www.immunize.org/vis.
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