This is a vaccine that decreases your child's risk of getting measles, mumps or rubella.
Measles, mumps and rubella are 3 viral illnesses that used to be common in childhood. All three illnesses had potentially serious complications. Due to the widespread use of the MMR vaccine, these illnesses are uncommon.
Measles is characterized by a rash, cough, runny nose, sore eyes and fever. Severe complications include pneumonia, seizures, brain damage and death (rare).
Mumps is characterized by fever, headache and swollen glands in the neck. Severe complications include deafness, meningitis and swollen testicles or ovaries. Swollen testicles may rarely result in sterility.
Rubella (German measles) is typically a minor viral illness. It can lead to serious birth defects, miscarriage or stillbirth if a woman contracts the virus while she is pregnant.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children get their first dose of the MMR vaccine between twelve and fifteen months. The second dose should be given before they enter school, typically between four to six years of age. You may be required to show proof of MMR vaccination before your child can attend school.
If your child has a moderate to severe illness, check with your healthcare provider before he or she receives the vaccine.
Your child should not receive the vaccine at all if they have a severely weakened immune system or a serious allergy to gelatin or the antibiotic neomycin.
If you were born before 1957 you probably had these illnesses and are unlikely to get them again (you have immunity). Adults who were born after 1957 should receive the MMR vaccine if they have not previously received the vaccine or had these illnesses. This is especially important for health care workers, students and international travelers.
You should not receive the MMR vaccine if you are pregnant or might become pregnant within the next month.
You should contact your healthcare provider if your child is not up to date on the MMR vaccine. Here is a list of questions you can ask during your appointment.
Do you recommend this vaccine for my child, and why?
Does this vaccine need boosters, and when?
What are the side effects of this vaccine?
What are the risks if my child does not get the vaccine?
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