Joseph F. Sullivan Center

MMR-Measles, Mumps, Rubella

MMR vaccine: prevents measles, mumps and rubella

  • MMR is a 2 dose vaccine. You should get the MMR vaccine if you are unsure if you received both doses, if you are a woman trying to get pregnant and don’t know if you are immune to rubella, or if you have a blood test that does not confirm MMR immunity.
  • What is measles? A virus spread by direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person. It is highly contagious—just being in the same room after a person who is infected can result in infection in a susceptible person. Symptoms include rash, fever, cough and red, watery eyes. Measles can lead to pneumonia, seizures, brain damage and death.
    • Measles is one of the most contagious vaccine-preventable diseases.
    • Measles during pregnancy increases the risk of premature labor, spontaneous abortion and low birth weight babies.
  • What is mumps? An infectious disease caused by the mumps virus, spread in the air by a cough or sneeze from an infected person. It can also be spread through contact with a contaminated object, like a toy. Symptoms include fever, headache, painful swelling of salivary glands, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite. Severe complications, although rare, include meningitis, encephalitis, permanent hearing loss or swelling of the testes (which can lead to sterility in men).
  • What is rubella? A virus spread through coughing and sneezing. Rubella causes mild illness in children, but can be very serious to a baby in the womb. A pregnant woman infected with rubella can lead to miscarriage, heart defects, mental retardation and loss of hearing and eyesight.
    • If a pregnant woman develops rubella during the first trimester, there is an 85% change of fetal damage. 
Click here for the CDC Vaccine Information Statement about the MMR Vaccine