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Health Information For Parents
The MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles).
Children get the MMR vaccine by injection in 2 doses:
Children traveling outside the United States can get the vaccine as early as 6 months of age. They still should get the routine doses at 12–15 months and 4–6 years of age. If they’re 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 later.
Older children also can get the vaccine if they didn’t get it when they were younger. Sometimes doctors give MMR in combination with the chickenpox vaccine in a vaccine called MMRV.
The U.S. has had recent outbreaks of mumps and measles. An outbreak is when a disease happens in greater numbers than expected in a particular area. During an outbreak, doctors may recommend a third vaccine dose for some people. If you have questions about vaccinating your family during an outbreak, call your doctor or your state or local health department.
Measles, mumps, and rubella are infections that can lead to serious illness. More than 95% of children who get the MMR vaccine will be protected from the three diseases throughout their lives.
Serious problems such as allergic reactions are rare. Mild to moderate side effects can happen, such as rash, fever, swollen cheeks, febrile seizures, and mild joint pain.
The MMR vaccine is not recommended if your child:
Talk to your doctor about whether the vaccine is a good idea if your child:
Your doctor may decide that the benefits of vaccinating your child outweigh the possible risks.
Pregnant women should not get the MMR vaccine until after childbirth.
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 either acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain or fever and to find out the appropriate dose.
Call your doctor if:
Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain. Although encephalitis sounds scary, understanding its causes, symptoms, and treatment can help you feel prepared to deal with it if you ever need to.
Encephalitis is a rare brain inflammation caused by a virus. The best way to avoid encephalitis is to prevent the illnesses that may lead to it.
If you’re old enough to read this, you’ve probably had most of your shots. But even bigger kids may need a shot once in a while. Find out more about them in this article for kids.
Rubella infection, or German measles, usually is a mild disease in kids that can be prevented with vaccination. Its primary medical danger is to pregnant women because it can affect developing babies.
Find out what the experts have to say.
Measles is best known for the skin rash it causes. Although rare, outbreaks can happen. Getting your kids fully vaccinated is the best way to protect them from this disease.
Missing out on shots puts you at more serious risk than you might think. That one little “ouch” moment protects you from some major health problems.
If you’re afraid of shots, you’re not alone. Next time your doc asks you to roll up your sleeve, try these tips.
Which vaccines does your child need and when? Use this immunization schedule as a handy reference.
Immunizations have protected millions of children from potentially deadly diseases. Learn about immunizations and find out exactly what they do – and what they don’t.
Immunizations protect kids from many dangerous diseases. Find out what vaccines your child needs to grow up healthy.
Vaccines help keep kids healthy, but many parents still have questions about them. Get answers here.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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