Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) Vaccine
Measles is prevented through vaccination. Before there was a vaccine, it is estimated that there were over 3 million measles cases every year in the US, and 500 deaths due to measles. The vaccine that we use today, called MMR, for measles, mumps and rubella, is highly effective. Measles vaccination protects not just the person being vaccinated, but the community around them, including babies less than 12 months old who are too young to be vaccinated.
What is the vaccine schedule?
- The US recommends 2 doses of MMR vaccine, separated by at least 28 days.
- Two doses of MMR vaccine are more than 97% effective at preventing measles.
- Vaccine schedules (CDC) English | Spanish
Who should get vaccinated?
Everyone should be protected from measles.
- Children; first dose is typically given at 12—15 months old, with the second dose at 4 years old.
- Additional dose for infants 6-12 months prior to international travel
- Students; California law dictates that 2 doses of MMR vaccine are required for school entry. Colleges and trade schools also require vaccine history or proof of immunity.
- Adults born after 1956 without evidence of immunity should receive at least one dose of MMR vaccine.
- 2 doses are recommended for adults who plan to travel internationally and in many colleges.
- 2 doses are also advised if you work with babies, children, pregnant women, or people with weak immune systems.
- Immunization Questions from Adults Regarding Measles
- Healthcare personnel have specific immunization recommendations.
How safe is the measles vaccine?
The measles vaccine is very safe. The most common side effects are soreness where the shot was given and fever. Sometimes there is a mild rash or swollen glands in the cheeks or neck.
Where do I go to receive a vaccine?
Any time you receive a vaccine, be sure to keep your record. If you are unsure of your vaccine history, here are some tips.