Your Child's Immunizations: Measles, Mumps & Rubella Vaccine (MMR)

Your Child's Immunizations: Measles, Mumps & Rubella Vaccine (MMR)

Lea este articulo en EspanolThe MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles).

Immunization Schedule

MMR vaccinations are given by injection in two doses:

  1. at age 12-15 months
  2. at age 4-6 years

Children traveling outside the United States should get the vaccine as early as 6 months of age. Those who remain in an area where disease risk is high should receive two additional doses: at 12 months and then at least 4 weeks later.

Why the Vaccine Is Recommended

Measles, mumps, and rubella are infections that can lead to significant illness. More than 95% of children receiving MMR will be protected from the three diseases throughout their lives.

Possible Risks

Serious problems such as allergic reactions are rare. Potential mild to moderate reactions include rash, fever, swollen cheeks, febrile seizures, and mild joint pain.

When to Delay or Avoid Immunization

The vaccine is not recommended if:

Talk to your doctor about whether it's a good idea for your child to be vaccinated if he or she:

Your doctor may determine that the benefits of vaccinating your child outweigh the potential risks.

Pregnant women should not receive the MMR vaccine until after childbirth.

Caring for Your Child After Immunization

If a rash develops without other symptoms, no treatment is necessary and it should resolve within several days. Pain and fever may be treated with acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Check with your doctor to see if you can give either medication, and find out the appropriate dose.

When to Call the Doctor

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date reviewed: February 2014





Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.





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Related Resources
Web SiteNational Immunization Program This website has information about immunizations. Call: (800) 232-2522
OrganizationImmunization Action Coalition This organization is a source of childhood, adolescent, and adult immunization information as well as hepatitis B educational materials.
Web SiteCDC: Pre-teen and Teen Vaccines CDC site provides materials in English and Spanish for parents, teens, pre-teens, and health care providers about vaccines and the diseases they prevent.
Web SiteThe History of Vaccines The History of Vaccines is an informational, educational website created by The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the oldest professional society in the United States.
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