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Immunisation Services

Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) Vaccination

What are measles, mumps and rubella?

Measles, mumps and rubella are highly contagious viral infections which can cause serious complications especially in high-risk groups. Like influenza, all three of these infections are spread by virus-containing aerosols produced by sneezing, coughing or by direct contact with respiratory secretions.


Who should get the MMR vaccination?

The measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is often referred to as MMR and is available from participating pharmacies across most states for people aged 16 years and over (or 15 years and over for Victoria). 


According to the Australian Immunisation Handbook, you need two doses of the MMR vaccine (at least 1 month apart) for full protection against measles.


Children: Children are offered the MMR vaccine at 12 and 18 months of age through the National Immunisation Program. The second dose at 18 months also includes the varicella vaccine to protect against chickenpox.


Adolescents born after 1965: Some people born after 1965 have already had one dose as a child but may still need a second dose.


Travellers: It is especially important to make sure you are fully vaccinated against measles before travelling overseas.


People working in certain occupations:  Healthcare workers, people working in early childhood education/care and people working in long-term care or other residential facilitates should ensure they have had 2 doses of MMR vaccine.


Women of child-bearing age: Measles can have serious complications, especially for pregnant women and their babies, such as miscarriage, early labour and stillbirth. Unfortunately, the vaccine is not suitable for women who are currently pregnant or planning to fall pregnant soon (at least 4 weeks). If you fall into this category, please speak to your GP for more advice.


Is the MMR vaccination safe in pregnancy?

The MMR vaccination is not safe in pregnancy. The vaccine is not recommended for women who are currently pregnant or planning to fall pregnant soon (at least 4 weeks).


Measles, Mumps and Rubella References



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