MMR vaccinations are given by injection in two doses:
at age 12–15 months
at age 4–6 years
Children traveling outside the United States can get the vaccine as early as 6
months of age. These children should still get the recommended routine doses at 12–15
months and 4–6 years of age (if they are staying in an area where disease risk
is high, they should get the first dose at 12 months and the second at least 4 weeks
There have been recent outbreaks of mumps in the U.S. An outbreak is when a disease
happens in greater numbers than one would expect in a certain area. If you have questions
about vaccinating your family during an outbreak, ask your health care provider or
contact your state or local health department.
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.
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 MMR vaccine is not recommended if your child:
had a severe allergic
reaction to a previous dose of MMR vaccine, or components of the vaccine. which
include gelatin and the antibiotic neomycin
Talk to your doctor about whether the vaccine is a good idea if your child:
is currently sick. Generally, simple colds
and other minor illness should not stop your child from getting a vaccine.
has received any other vaccines in the past month because some can interfere with
how well the MMR vaccine will work
has ever had a low platelet count
Your doctor may decide that the benefits of vaccinating your child outweigh the
Pregnant women should not receive the MMR vaccine until after childbirth.
Caring for Your Child After Immunization
If your child develops a rash without other symptoms, no treatment is needed. The
rash should go away in several days. Check with your doctor to see if you can give
or ibuprofen for pain or
fever and to find out the appropriate dose.
When to Call the Doctor
Call if you aren't sure if the vaccine should be postponed or avoided.
Call if there are problems after the immunization.