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The measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination contains vaccinations for the three diseases it’s named after.
The measles virus can cause fever, cough, runny nose, eye irritation, and rash. If left untreated, it can cause seizures, pneumonia, brain damage, or even death.
The mumps virus can cause headache, fever, and swollen glands, which can lead to deafness, infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord (a condition known as meningitis), and swelling of the reproductive organs.
Rubella, also known as German measles, can cause fever, rash, and has been known to cause arthritis in women. Infection of rubella while pregnant can cause birth defects or a miscarriage.
The MMR vaccine is an injection where live, but harmless, viruses help prepare the body’s immune system against a further attack.
Children ages 12 months to 15 months should get their first injection and the second between the ages of 4 and 6 years. However, the second dose can be given at any time, so long as it is more than 28 days after the first.
The Center for Disease Control recommends anyone over the age of 18 get at least one dose of the MMR vaccine.
Here are the people the CDC warns against getting the MMR vaccine:
While the CDC reports that most people who get the MMR vaccine have few problems with it, some side effects may occur. They include:
Written by: Amy Boulanger
Medically reviewed by Jennifer Monti, MD, MPH
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