Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Diseases and How to Protect Against Them

Measles causes fever, rash, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. Complications can include ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, brain damage, and death. Mumps causes fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swollen salivary glands. Complications can include swelling of the testicles or ovaries, deafness, inflammation of the brain and/or tissue covering the brain and spinal cord (encephalitis/meningitis), and, rarely, death. Rubella, causes fever, sore throat, rash, headache, and red, itchy eyes. If a woman gets rubella while she is pregnant, she could have a miscarriage or her baby could be born with serious birth defects. You can protect against these diseases with safe, effective vaccination.
Child and Adult Immunization Schedules Get CDC’s official recommended immunization schedules for children, adolescents, and adults.

MMR Vaccine Side Effects

The MMR vaccine is very safe, and it is effective at preventing measles, mumps, and rubella. Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. Most people who get the MMR vaccine do not have any serious problems with it. Getting the MMR vaccine is much safer than getting measles, mumps, or rubella.
Common Side Effects of MMR Vaccine
  • Sore arm from the shot
  • Fever
  • Mild rash
  • Temporary pain and stiffness in the joints, mostly in teenage or adult women who did not already have immunity to the rubella component of the vaccine
MMR vaccine has been linked with a very small risk of febrile seizures (seizures or jerking caused by fever).  Febrile seizures following MMR are rare and are not associated with any long-term effects. Because the risk of febrile seizures increases as infants get older, it is recommended that they get vaccinated as soon as recommended. Some people may experience swelling in the cheeks or neck. MMR vaccine rarely causes a temporary low platelet count, which can cause a bleeding disorder that usually goes away without treatment and is not life-threatening. Extremely rarely, a person may have a serious allergic reaction to the MMR vaccine.  Anyone who has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to the antibiotic neomycin, or any other component of the MMR vaccine, should not get the vaccine.