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Measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine

Learn about the MMR vaccine, effectiveness, side effects, and safety.

Diseases it protects from

Who should get this vaccine

The following people can get this vaccine:

  • children starting at age 12 months who are not getting MMR-Var, which is the MMR and varicella (chickenpox) vaccines
  • younger babies (ages 6 to 11 months) who are having an organ transplant
  • adults and children (including younger babies ages 6 to 11 months) who are travelling outside of Canada or to areas within Canada where measles is spreading
  • adults and children whose immunization records do not show they have had the recommended number of doses of measles, mumps, or rubella vaccines

Your healthcare provider may suggest you have the MMR vaccine if you are having a stem cell transplant.

This vaccine may also be recommended if you have contact with the measles virus and have not had all of the recommended number of doses of measles vaccine.

If a baby age 6 to 11 months gets this vaccine, it is considered off-label use. “Off-label use” means the vaccine is used differently than the way it was originally approved. Vaccine experts support using it this way and have no safety concerns.

Who should not get this vaccine

You may not be able to get this vaccine if:

  • You have an allergy to any part of the vaccine.
  • You had a severe (serious) or unusual side effect after this vaccine or one like it.
  • You have a weak immune system (because of a medicine you take or a health problem).
  • You have a family history of a weak immune system.
  • You had a blood product in the past 11 months.
  • You had another live vaccine in the past 6 weeks.
  • You are pregnant.

If you are planning to get pregnant, wait 1 month after getting this vaccine before you start trying to get pregnant.

If you have allergies or have had a side effect from a vaccine in the past, check with your doctor or a public health nurse before you get the vaccine.

Although you can get the vaccine if you have a mild illness, such as a cold or fever, you should stay home until you are feeling better to prevent spreading your illness to others.


The number of doses you get of the MMR vaccine depends on your age and risk of contact with these diseases.

If you are having an organ transplant, ask your healthcare provider how many doses of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine you need.

Other vaccines that protect against the same disease

The MMR-Var vaccine protects against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella.

Get the vaccine

You can get the vaccine at your local public health or community health centre.

Current as of: April 1, 2024
Author: Provincial Immunization Program, Alberta Health Services
Our work takes place on historical and contemporary Indigenous lands, including the territories of Treaty 6, Treaty 7 & Treaty 8 and the homeland of the Métis Nation of Alberta and 8 Métis Settlements. We also acknowledge the many Indigenous communities that have been forged in urban centres across Alberta.