What It Is and What It Protects Against
The measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination contains vaccinations for the three diseases it’s named after.
The mumps virus can cause headache, fever, and swollen glands, which can lead to deafness, infection of the brain and covering of the spinal cord (a condition known as meningitis), and swelling of the reproductive organs.
The MMR vaccine is an injection where live, but harmless, viruses help prepare the body’s immune system against a further attack.
Children ages 12 months to 15 months should get their first injection and the second between the ages of 4 and 6 years. However, the second dose can be given at any time, so long as it is more than 28 days after the first.
The Center for Disease Control recommends anyone over the age of 18 get at least one dose of the MMR vaccine.
Who Should Not Get It
Here are the people the CDC warns against getting the MMR vaccine:
- Anyone with an allergic reaction to gelain or neomycin (an antibiotic).
- People who are currently ill.
- Pregnant women.
- People with immune system deficiencies, such as with HIV/AIDS, cancer, or a low platelet count of the blood.
- Anyone who has recently received a blood transfusion.
Potential Side Effects
While the CDC reports that most people who get the MMR vaccine have few problems with it, some side effects may occur. They include:
- mild rash
- excessive sweating
- joint pain or stiffness
- other allergic reactions