MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) Vaccine


This "combination" vaccine protects against three serious diseases: measles, mumps and rubella. These were once common childhood diseases, and they spread easily. The MMR vaccine can prevent these diseases in children and adults.

How it Works

The vaccine is made from weakened versions of the live viruses that cause these diseases. When injected, the body creates antibodies to fight the viruses. Even after the viruses are destroyed, this protection remains.

How it is Given

In children, the MMR vaccine normally is given as two injections. The first is given when a child is 12 to 15 months old. The second dose is given between the ages of 4 and 6. In adults, the vaccine may be given as one or two injections.

Who Should Get the Vaccine

The vaccine is recommended for all children who are a year old. It may also be recommended for a younger child if that child is going to travel out of the country. The vaccine is also recommended for all adults who were born after 1956, unless they have been vaccinated or have had all three diseases.

Who Should Avoid or Postpone the Vaccine

Some people should avoid or postpone a vaccination. People who have a severe reaction to the first dose should not get the second dose. Pregnant women and anyone who is sick should wait to get the vaccine. And if you have medical conditions such as HIV, cancer or blood disorders, talk to your doctor to make sure the vaccine is right for you.