Rubella or German measles is a viral infection of the skin. This disease is also called three-day measles and it is characteristic by the distinctive red rash called exanthema. Rash usually appears on the trunk of the body and then spreads further. Although this disease shares part of the name with measles, this is not the same disease. It does not have the same cause and it is not as severe as measles.
In the United States, MMR vaccine is given to children two times before they start school. This vaccine is known to prevent measles, mumps and rubella and therefore the name MMR. Rubella is declared eliminated in the USA but children are being vaccinated to prevent re-appearance of this disease.
According to doctors’ recommendation children should get their first dose of MMR vaccine at the age between 12 and 15 months. The second vaccine should be given between 4 and 6 years of age, before the child starts preschool. Parents must take care of their children, especially girls, in order to prevent rubella during pregnancy in the future.
Right after the birth babies are protected from rubella by the immunity passed from their moms. If the child is going to travel to the area of the world known for rubella infection, he/she can be vaccinated at 6 months of age.
Who Should Get MMR Vaccine?
Men born before 1957 and women born before that age who do not want to have any more children (and have positive rubella immunity test) do not have to be vaccinated against rubella. If your blood test shows you have immunity against measles, mumps and rubella you also do not need this vaccine. People who had 2 doses of this vaccine after 1 year of age need not to worry about MMR vaccine. This also includes those patients who had one dose of MMR vaccine and the second dose of measles vaccine.
If you cannot find yourself on this list and you are not pregnant but in childbearing age, you should receive MMR vaccine. People who did not get their vaccines and are now in trade school, post-secondary school or at college should also get vaccinated.
Everyone who works in some medical facility, child care center, school or in a hospital should also get this vaccine, as well as people traveling overseas or going on a cruise.
People with severe allergic reaction to gelatin, neomycin or previous dose of MMR vaccine should not take this vaccine. The same goes for women who plan to get pregnant in the following month or so and those women who are already pregnant.
Patients suffering from blood disorders or cancers and those who take certain medications that have effect to immune system should always check with their doctor prior getting vaccinated with MMR vaccine.