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Home > Health Library > MMR Vaccine (Measles, Mumps and Rubella): What You Need to Know
Measles, mumps, and rubella are viral diseases that can have serious consequences. Before vaccines, these diseases were very common in the United States, especially among children. They are still common in many parts of the world.
These diseases can easily spread from person to person. Measles doesn't even require personal contact. You can get measles by entering a room that a person with measles left up to 2 hours before.
Vaccines and high rates of vaccination have made these diseases much less common in the United States.
Children should get 2 doses of MMR vaccine, usually:
Infants who will be traveling outside the United States when they are between 6 and 11 months of age should get a dose of MMR vaccine before travel. This can provide temporary protection from measles infection, but will not give permanent immunity. The child should still get 2 doses at the recommended ages for long-lasting protection.
Adults might also need MMR vaccine. Many adults 18 years of age and older might be susceptible to measles, mumps, and rubella without knowing it.
A third dose of MMR might be recommended in certain mumps outbreak situations.
There are no known risks to getting MMR vaccine at the same time as other vaccines.
There is a combination vaccine called MMRV that contains both chickenpox and MMR vaccines. MMRV is an option for some children 12 months through 12 years of age. There is a separate Vaccine Information Statement for MMRV. Your health care provider can give you more information.
Tell your vaccine provider if the person getting the vaccine:
With any medicine, including vaccines, there is a chance of reactions. These are usually mild and go away on their own, but serious reactions are also possible.
Getting MMR vaccine is much safer than getting measles, mumps, or rubella disease. Most people who get MMR vaccine do not have any problems with it.
After MMR vaccination, a person might experience:
If these events happen, they usually begin within 2 weeks after the shot. They occur less often after the second dose.
As with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a serious injury or death.
The safety of vaccines is always being monitored. For more information, visit: www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/
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.
Afterward, the reaction should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Your doctor should file this report, or you can do it yourself through the VAERS website at www.vaers.hhs.gov, or by calling 1-800-822-7967.
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. There is a time limit to file a claim for compensation.
Vaccine Information Statement
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
Hojas de información sobre vacunas están disponibles en español y en muchos otros idiomas. Visite www.immunize.org/vis
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