Children should receive two doses of MMR vaccine:
- 1st dose: 12 through 15 months
- 2nd dose: 4 through 6 years old
MMRV vaccine is licensed for children 12 months to 12 years old and may be used in place of MMR vaccine if varicella vaccination is also needed. A health care provider can help decide which vaccine to use.
MMR vaccine is very safe and effective. MMR vaccine is the best way to protect children against rubella and to prevent them from spreading the disease to pregnant women and their unborn babies.
Anyone born during or after 1957, who has never had rubella or has never been vaccinated, against rubella should receive at least one dose of MMR vaccine. If you are not sure if you are protected against rubella, first try to find your vaccination records or documentation of rubella immunity. If you do not have written documentation of rubella immunity, you should get MMR vaccine. Another option is to have a doctor test your blood to determine whether you’re immune, but this is likely to cost more and will take two doctor’s visits. There is no harm in getting another dose of MMR vaccine if you may already be immune to rubella.
Women who are planning to become pregnant should make sure they have a pre-pregnancy blood test to see if they are immune to rubella. Most women of childbearing age were vaccinated as children with the MMR vaccine, but they should confirm this with their doctor. If they need to get vaccinated for rubella, they should avoid becoming pregnant until one month (28 days) after receiving the MMR vaccine and, ideally, not until your immunity is confirmed by a blood test.
Pregnant women who are not protected against rubella should wait until after they have given birth to get MMR vaccine.