Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)

The diseases

Measles is one of the most serious of childhood diseases. It can cause deafness, blindness, convulsions, other brain disorders and death. Learn more about measles. Mumps is a virus that causes pain and swelling in the salivary glands of the face and neck. It can cause deafness, muscle weakness, seizures, brain disorders and painful testicular swelling in males.

Rubella or German measles is a common, mild infection of childhood. However, a pregnant woman who catches rubella is at much higher risk of giving birth to a child with birth defects.

The vaccine

The vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella come as a combined vaccine. They are highly effective against preventing disease.

Side effects

  • Fever and a rash in 5 to 15 percent of children 1 to 2 weeks after receiving the vaccine
  • Joint aches in older children (1%)
  • Mild fever after shot
  • Brain inflammation (1 in 1,000,000)
  • Swelling of neck glands (15%)
  • Allergic reaction (rare)

More information



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