MMR vaccine is a safe and effective combined vaccine. It protects against 3 serious illnesses: Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (German measles).
- The first symptoms of measles include: a high temperature, a runny or blocked nose, sneezing, a cough, red, sore, watery eyes.
- Spots in mouth - Small white spots may appear inside the cheeks and on the back of the lips a few days later. These spots usually last a few days.
- The measles rash- A rash usually appears a few days after the cold-like symptoms. The rash starts on the face and behind the ears before spreading to the rest of the body. The spots of the measles rash are sometimes raised and join together to form blotchy patches. They're not usually itchy. The rash looks brown or red on white skin. It may be harder to see on brown and black skin.
- Mumps is a contagious viral infection. Mumps is most recognizable by the painful swellings in the side of the face under the ears (the parotid glands), giving a person with mumps a distinctive "hamster face" appearance.
- Other symptoms of mumps include headaches, joint pain, and a high temperature, which may develop a few days before the swelling of the parotid glands.
- Mumps is spread in the same way as colds and flu: through infected droplets of saliva that can be inhaled or picked up from surfaces and transferred into the mouth or nose.
Rubella (German Measles)
- The main symptom of rubella is a red or pink spotty rash. The rash takes 2 to 3 weeks to appear after getting rubella. The rash starts behind the ears and spreads to the head, neck, and body. The rash can be hard to see on dark skin but might feel rough or bumpy.
- Rubella can also cause: a high temperature of 38C or above, Coughs, sneezing and a runny nose, Headaches, a sore throat, sore, red eyes.
Site and dosage of MMR vaccine
The dosage is 0.5 ml given subcutaneously in Right Upper Arm.
Side effects of the MMR vaccine
The MMR vaccine is very safe. Most side effects are mild and do not last very long, such as:
- The area where the needle goes in looks red, swollen, and feels sore for 2 to 3 days.
- Around 7 to 11 days after the injection, babies or young children may feel a bit unwell or develop a high temperature for about 2 or 3 days.
- Some children might also cry and be upset immediately after the injection. This is normal and they should feel better after a cuddle.
Why are babies given the MMR vaccine around 1 year?
Newborn babies have antibodies passed on from their mothers at birth. This helps protect them for a short time against measles, mumps, and rubella. These antibodies make the MMR vaccine less effective if it's given to a newborn. By the time a child is 1 year old, the antibodies are almost gone, and the MMR vaccine will be effective.