An MMR vaccine protects against measles, mumps, and rubella. An MMRV vaccine adds protection against chickenpox (varicella). These diseases used to be common in children before the vaccine. Children get two doses of MMR. They get the first dose when they are 12 to 15 months old and the second dose at any time before they enter school. These shots will prevent measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox (with MMRV) for life.
A child who had a bad reaction to an MMR or MMRV shot should not get another one. Be sure to tell your doctor if your child ever had a seizure or trouble breathing after a vaccination.
Some parents worry that the MMR or MMRV vaccine causes autism in children. Many studies have been done, and no link has been found between these shots and autism.
Adults born before 1970 do not need an MMR or MMRV vaccination. Adults born in 1970 or later who have not had the MMR or MMRV vaccine may need the vaccine if they do not have evidence of immunity. Women who have not had the MMR or MMRV vaccine should get it at least 4 weeks before trying to get pregnant. Rubella during pregnancy can cause birth defects. If you are pregnant, you cannot get the vaccine until after your pregnancy is over.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you or your child may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your or your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: November 10, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
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