MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) Vaccine

  • Issued as a single vaccine in 1971 in response to high rates of disease
  • Booster dose added for older children in 1990 in response to rising cases of measles
  • Available for children 1 year or older and adults
  • To protect babies too young to receive the vaccine (< 12 months) from the illness, our community as a whole needs to be vaccinated at 95%.
  • Current MMR vaccine rate has dropped to 92% due to vaccine refusal.
  • Side effects from the vaccine:

1-3 days after the vaccine: redness, swelling or local skin reaction (common), allergic reaction (rare)MMR Vaccine vs. Measles

1-10 days after: fever (15%), fatigue (10%), febrile seizure (<< 1%)

5-14 days after: rash (5% of children), joint pain (< 1% of children 4yo)

2-6 weeks after the vaccine: ITP (low platelets – rare and self-limited)

  • It is very clear that MMR vaccine does NOT cause autism.

Measles, the Disease

New Study Shows Why Anti-Vaccination Thinking is Deadly

Forbes 10/31/2016


1960s: almost everyone caught measles as a child and while most improved without long term consequences, of the 3-4 million people infected each year in the US, approximately 500 died and approximately 4,000 developed encephalitis (swelling of the brain).

1980s: MMR vaccine was introduced in the 1970s and the measles rate dropped by 80%

1990s: Outbreak of measles occurred prompting a second booster dose of the MMR vaccine.

2000s: Measles was declared eliminated within the USA, but still endemic in other countries.

2010s: Measles outbreaks have occurred in at least 27 different US states and in 2014 there were 667 reported cases. The cases have occurred in communities of poor vaccination rates and the virus has been introduced by persons traveling outside the USA.

The Illness:

  • Incubation Period of 1-2 weeks without symptoms following exposure/infection
  • 1-3 days of the illness: The 3 C’s: cough, coryza (runny nose) and conjunctivitis (pink eye) along with fever and fatigue.
  • 3-7 days: Koplik spots (in the mouth) and Rash develop along with high fever spikes
  • 1-3 weeks: complications may occur including ear infection (10%), pneumonia (5%), encephalitis (1 out of 1000 cases, swelling of the brain that leads to seizures, coma, deafness and intellectual disability), Death (1 out of 1000 cases).

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