Everything You Need To Know About The MMR Vaccine

Everything You Need To Know About The MMR Vaccine

4 Dec 2018 | 7 min Read

Dr. Indu Khosla

Author | 10 Articles

There are several mandatory vaccines for children. It’s important to vaccinate them especially as their immune systems are still developing. The MMR vaccine is one of them. It is administered to prevent children from measles, mumps and rubella. Studies have shown that most of them who are vaccinated with MMR will be protected for life.

Measles is an infectious disease that can cause stomach problems, ear infections, brain damage, convulsions and pneumonia. Mumps can lead to meningitis and encephalitis. Rubella can cause fever, sore throat, rash, headache, and eye irritation. Studies have also found that it can cause arthritis in up to half of teenage and adult women.

If an expecting woman gets rubella during pregnancy, she could have a miscarriage or her baby could be born with serious birth defects. Here’s everything you need to know about the MMR vaccine.

What Is MMR Vaccine?

MMR vaccine is given in the thigh. For children above two years, it is administered in the deltoid muscle.

It is given in two doses to ensure full protection. It is advisable to take the first dose (mmr1 vaccine) at three to six months and the second dose (mmr2 vaccine) at four to six years.

A third dose of MMR might be recommended in certain outbreak situations.

What’s the MMR vaccine age? The minimum age for both MMR and MMRV vaccines is 12 months of age.

Who Should Get The MMR Vaccine?

The MMR injection is recommended to children, students at post-high school educational institutions who do not have presumptive evidence of immunity, healthcare personnel and women of childbearing age (before they conceive).

MMR vaccine for adults is also recommended who do not have presumptive evidence of immunity.

Before any international travel, children who are 12 months of age and older should receive two doses of MMR vaccine, separated by at least 28 days.

During a mumps outbreak, an additional dose of MMR vaccine might also be recommended by the public health authorities for people who belong to groups at increased risk for getting mumps.

These groups are likely to have close contact, such as sharing sport equipment or drinks, or living in close quarters, with a person who has been infected with mumps.

If you are already vaccinated with the two doses of MMR, it is not necessary to seek out vaccination unless you are part of this group.

Image Caption: If an expecting woman gets rubella during pregnancy, she could have a miscarriage or her baby could be born with serious birth defects. | Image Source: pexels

Who Should Not Get MMR Vaccine?

MMR vaccine is not recommended for:

  • People who have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction after a dose of MMR vaccine, or in case they have a severe allergy to any part of this vaccine.
  • Women who are planning to conceive.

Women should avoid getting pregnant for at least 1 month after getting the MMR vaccine. They can instead focus on the other important vaccinations during pregnancy.

  • People who have a weakened immune system due to diseases like cancer or HIV/AIDS or medical treatments (such as radiation, immunotherapy, steroids, or chemotherapy).
  • Those whose parents, brother, or sister has a history of immune system problems.
  • Those having a condition that makes them bruise or bleed easily.
  • People who have recently had a blood transfusion or received other blood products as they might be advised to postpone MMR vaccination for three months or more.
  • Those having tuberculosis or the ones who have been vaccinated in the past 4 weeks.

In addition to these, any vaccine should be postponed in case you are not feeling well or have a mild illness, such as a cold.

Who Does Not Need An MMR Vaccine?

An MMR vaccine is not required if a person meets any of these criteria for presumptive evidence of immunity:He/ she has written documentation of adequate vaccination:

  • At least one dose of a measles, mumps, and rubella virus-containing vaccine administered on or after the first birthday for children of preschool-age.
  • Two doses of measles and mumps virus-containing vaccine.
  • He/ she has the laboratory confirmation of past infection or had blood tests that show that he/ she is immune to measles, mumps, and rubella.

If you have received a measles vaccine in the 1960s, there’s no need to be re-vaccinated.

People who were vaccinated before 1968 with either inactivated (killed) measles vaccine or measles vaccine of unknown type should be re-vaccinated with at least one dose of live attenuated measles vaccine.

This recommendation is intended to protect those who might have received the inactivated measles vaccine, which was available in 1963-1967 and was not effective.

The MMR vaccine is effective at protecting children and adults against measles, mumps, and rubella. | Image Source: pixabay

How Well Does The MMR Vaccine Work?

The MMR vaccine is effective at protecting children and adults against measles, mumps, and rubella.

While MMR provides effective protection against mumps for most people, immunity against mumps might decrease over time and some people may no longer be protected against mumps later in life.

According to medical reports, one dose of the MMR vaccine is 93% effective against measles, 78% effective against mumps, and 97% effective against rubella. On the other hand, two doses of the MMR vaccine are 97% effective against measles and 88% effective against mumps.

MMR is a weak live virus vaccine. This means that after injection, the viruses can cause a harmless infection in the vaccinated person with very few symptoms before they are eliminated from the body.

The immune system fights the infection caused by these weak viruses and the immunity thus develops.

However, some people who are vaccinated with the two doses of MMR vaccine might still get measles, mumps, or rubella if they are exposed to the viruses that cause these diseases. However, the symptoms are generally mild in the ones who are already vaccinated.

FAQs

Should you get vaccinated after being exposed to measles, mumps, or rubella?

The MMR vaccine might be effective if given within the first 3 days (72 hours) after exposure to measles.

What are the childcare and school requirements for MMR vaccine?

1 dose of MMR vaccine is recommended for preschool-aged children 12 months or older.

Plus, 2 doses are recommended for school-aged children in kindergarten as well as for students attending colleges or other post-high school educational institutions.

How can parents pay for MMR vaccines?

Most of the health insurance plans cover the cost of vaccines.

If you don’t have insurance or if your insurance does not cover vaccines for your child, the Vaccines for Children Program (VFC) can help. The program helps families of eligible children who might not otherwise have access to vaccines.

How often should you get your MMR vaccine?

The MMR vaccine is given in two doses to ensure full protection. It is advisable to take the first dose (mmr1 vaccine) at three to six months and the second dose (mmr2 vaccine) at four to six years.

Do adults need MMR vaccine?

Adults also need MMR vaccinations with either 1 or 2 doses depending on risk factors unless they have other presumptive evidence of immunity to the diseases.

At what age MMR vaccine should be given?

It is advisable to take the first dose at three to six months and the second dose at four to six years.

Conclusion

If you do not have presumptive evidence of immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella, it is advisable to consult your doctor about getting vaccinated. The MMR vaccine is safe, and there is no harm in getting another dose if you may already be immune to measles, mumps, or rubella.

Today, everyone is talking about the MR vaccine which provides combined protection against the diseases measles and rubella. However, if a child has received both the doses of an MMR vaccine, there is no need for an MR vaccine.

like

180.5K

Like

bookmark

34

Saves

whatsapp-logo

180.5K

Shares

A

gallery
send-btn
ovulation calculator
home iconHomecommunity iconCOMMUNITY
stories iconStoriesshop icon Shop