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What is the MMR vaccine?

The MMR vaccine is a vaccine that protects against 3 different diseases – measles, mumps and rubella. Those diseases are all highly contagious (easily spread from one person to another). Measles is especially contagious.

When should my child receive the MMR vaccine?

The MMR vaccine is given in 2 doses. Children receive the first dose between ages 12-15 months. They receive the second dose around age 4-6 years. Doctors can also give the doses to older children and adults, if needed.

How well does the MMR vaccine work?

After receiving both doses of the MMR vaccine, your child’s risk of catching measles, mumps or rubella is lowered by more than 97%. Your child is also considered immune (protected) from those diseases for life.

Does my child have to get the MMR vaccine?

No one will force you to have your child receive the MMR vaccine. But many places require the MMR vaccine and other vaccinations. This can include daycare, school and many group activities, including sports teams. Without the vaccine, your child might not be able to participate.

What are the side effects of the MMR vaccine?

All vaccines can have side effects. The most common side effects of the MMR vaccine include:

  • Pain where the vaccine is given
  • Fever about 7-12 days after receiving the vaccine
  • If your child develops a fever after receiving the MMR vaccine, the doctor can recommend ways to lower the fever.

Does the MMR vaccine cause autism?

No. The MMR vaccine does not cause autism. The doctor who published the study stating that the MMR vaccine caused autism has his medical license revoked (taken away).

That study is more than 20 years old. More recent research shows that there is no connection between the MMR vaccine and autism.

Rev. 6/2018