Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) Vaccination

What is Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) Vaccination

To protect against measles, mumps, and rubella, the CDC recommends that people get the MMR vaccine. Children should receive two doses of MMR vaccine, the first at 12-15 months of age and the second at 4-6 years of age. Teens and adults should also have their MMR vaccinations up to date. In the United States, two MMR vaccines are available: M-M-R II and PRIORIX. M-M-R II and PRIORIX are completely interchangeable for all indications where MMR vaccination is advised. MMRV vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (chickenpox), may also be given to children. This vaccine is only approved for use in children aged 12 months to 12 years.

Who Should Get the MMR Vaccination


The CDC recommends that all children receive two doses of MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine, the first at 12-15 months of age and the second at 4-6 years of age. Children can have the second dose sooner if it is at least 28 days after the first.


Students enrolled in postsecondary institutions who do not have presumptive immunity should receive two doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days.


Adults who are going to be in an area where there is a high risk of measles or mumps transmission should have two doses separated by at least 28 days. Among these adults are:

  • Students who are currently in postsecondary institutions.
  • Personnel in the medical field.
  • International visitors/tourists


People aged 6 months and up who will be traveling internationally should be immunized against measles. Before any international travel.

  • Infants aged 6-11 months should receive one dose of MMR vaccine. Infants who receive one dose of MMR vaccine before their first birthday should receive two additional doses (one dose at 12 through 15 months of age and another dose separated by at least 28 days).
  • MMR vaccine should be given to children 12 months and older in two doses separated by at least 28 days.
  • Teenagers and adults who do not have presumptive measles immunity should receive two doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days.

Healthcare Professionals

According to the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices [48 pages], healthcare personnel should have documented presumptive evidence of immunity. Healthcare workers who do not have proof of immunity should receive two doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days.

Women Who Plan to Get Pregnant

Women who plan to get pregnant should consult their doctor to ensure they are fully vaccinated before becoming one. Women who are not pregnant and lack presumptive immunity should receive at least one dose of MMR vaccine.

Fact: MMR vaccination is safe for breastfeeding mothers. Breastfeeding has no effect on MMR vaccine response, and the baby will not be affected by the vaccine through breast milk.

Groups at Higher Risk of Mumps Due to a Mumps Outbreak

During a mumps outbreak, public health officials may recommend an additional dose of MMR vaccine to people who belong to high-risk groups. These are typically those who are likely to have close contact with a person who has mumps, such as sharing sports equipment or drinks, kissing, or living in close quarters. Your local public health authorities or institution will notify those at high risk that they should receive this dose. Unless you are part of this group, it is not necessary to seek vaccination if you have already received two doses of MMR.

Who Should AVOID the MMR Vaccine?

Let's face it! MMR vaccine is not for everyone, or some should postpone it due to some reasons.

Inform your vaccine provider if the person receiving the vaccine is:

  • Has any severe, deadly allergies. If you have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction after receiving a dose of MMR vaccine, or if you have a severe allergy to any part of this vaccine, you should avoid getting vaccinated. If you want to learn more about vaccine components, talk to your doctor.
  • Is not in good health. A minor illness, such as a cold, should not be used to postpone a vaccination. Those who are moderately or severely ill should most likely wait. Your doctor can give you advice.
  • Has received any other vaccines in the last four weeks. Live vaccines given too close together may not be as effective.
  • If you had Tuberculosis.
  • Has recently received a blood transfusion or other blood products. You may be advised to delay MMR vaccination for three months or more.
  • Anyone who suffered from a condition that causes them to bruise or bleed easily.
  • Has a parent, brother, or sister who has had immune system issues over the years.
  • Has a compromised immune system as a result of disease (such as cancer or HIV/AIDS) or medical treatment (such as radiation, immunotherapy, steroids, or chemotherapy).
  • Is pregnant or suspects she is pregnant. Pregnant women should avoid getting the MMR vaccine until they are no longer pregnant. Women should not become pregnant for at least one month after receiving the MMR vaccine.

Who Doesn't Require the MMR Vaccine?

If you meet any of the following criteria for presumptive evidence of immunity, you do not need the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine:

  • You have written proof of adequate vaccination:

- For preschool-age children and adults who are not at high risk of exposure and transmission, at least one dose of a measles, mumps, and rubella virus-containing vaccine should be administered on or after the first birthday.

- two doses of measles and mumps virus-containing vaccine for school-age children and adults at high risk of exposure and transmission, such as college students, healthcare workers, international tourists, and groups at high risk during outbreaks

  • You have laboratory confirmation of a previous infection or blood tests indicating immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella.
  • You were born prior to 1957.

If you do not have presumptive immunity to measles, mumps, or rubella, consult your doctor about getting vaccinated. If you're unsure whether you've been vaccinated, look for your vaccination records first. If you do not have written proof of MMR vaccination, you should get vaccinated. The MMR vaccine is safe, and getting another dose if you are immune to measles, mumps, or rubella is not harmful.


You may not need to be revaccinated if you received a measles vaccine in the 1960s. People who have proof of receiving live Meales vaccination in the 1960s do not need to be revaccinated. People who received inactivated (killed) measles vaccine or unknown type measles vaccine prior to 1968 should be revaccinated with at least one dose of live attenuated measles vaccine. This recommendation is intended to protect those who may have received the ineffective killed measles vaccine, which was available in 1963-1967.

How Effective Is the MMR Vaccine?

The MMR vaccine is extremely effective at protecting people against measles, mumps, and rubella, as well as preventing complications from these diseases. People who receive MMR vaccination according to the US vaccination schedule are usually considered measles and rubella-free for life. While MMR provides effective mumps protection for the majority of people, immunity to mumps may diminish over time, and some people may no longer be protected against mumps later in life. If you are at risk due to a mumps outbreak, you may require an additional dose.

One dose of MMR vaccine protects you against measles 93%, 78% against mumps, and 97% against rubella.

MMR vaccine is 97% effective against measles and 88% effective against mumps after two doses.

Even after receiving two doses of MMR vaccine, some people may contract measles, mumps, or rubella if they are exposed to the viruses that cause these diseases. Experts aren't sure why; it could be that their immune systems didn't respond as well to the vaccine as they should have, or that their immune system's ability to fight the infection deteriorated over time. Vaccinated people, on the other hand, have milder disease symptoms.

  • If exposed to the virus, approximately 3 out of every 100 people who receive two doses of MMR vaccine will develop measles. They are, however, more likely to have a milder illness and are less likely to spread the disease to others.
  • MMR vaccine is 88% (range 32% to 95%) effective at preventing mumps after two doses. Mumps outbreaks can still occur in highly vaccinated communities in the United States, especially in settings where people have close, prolonged contact, such as universities and close-knit communities. During an outbreak, public health officials may advise people in high-risk groups to receive an additional dose of MMR. An extra dose can help improve protection against mumps and its complications.
  • While there haven't been many studies, most people who don't respond to the rubella component of the first MMR dose should respond to the second dose.

What exactly is the MMRV Vaccine?

Measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella are all protected against by the MMRV vaccine (chickenpox). This vaccine is only approved for use in children aged 12 months to 12 years.

The CDC recommends that children receive one dose of MMRV vaccine between the ages of 12 and 15 months, and a second dose between the ages of 4 and 6 years. Children as young as 4 to 6 years old can receive the second dose of MMRV vaccine. This second dose of MMRV vaccine can be administered three months after the first. A doctor can advise parents on whether to use this vaccine or the MMR vaccine.

MMRV is administered via shot and may be given concurrently with other vaccines.

Should You Get Vaccinated If You Have Measles, Mumps, or Rubella?

If you do not have immunity to measles, mumps, or rubella and are exposed to someone who does, consult your doctor about getting the MMR vaccine. Getting MMR vaccine after being exposed to measles, mumps, or rubella is not harmful, and it may help prevent later disease.

If you get the MMR vaccine within 72 hours of being exposed to measles, you may get some protection or have a milder illness. In other cases, you may be given immunoglobulin (IG) within six days of exposure to measles to provide some protection against the disease, or you may have a milder illness.

Unlike measles, MMR has not been shown to prevent mumps or rubella in people who are already infected with the virus (i.e., post-exposure vaccination is not recommended).

During measles or mumps outbreaks, everyone without presumptive immunity should have their MMR vaccinations updated. Additionally, some people who have already received their MMR vaccination may be advised to receive an additional dose of MMR for added disease protection.