All About The MMR Vaccine
The MMR vaccine protects a child against three viruses which include: measles, mumps, and rubella (German Measles).
The first virus the MMR protects against is called the measles. The measles is a highly contagious illness that has once affected almost every child, but has been reduced because of the vaccine. Before the measles vaccine was introduced in 1963, The United States experienced roughly 3 to 4 million people infected by this virus. While most were hospitalized, many had died and around 1,000 of those people were chronically disabled. Thanks to a global effort to vaccinate children, the number of measles has declined by 75 percent since 2000.
The mumps typically starts with symptoms of a fever, headache and inflammation of the glands. The reason why mumps are dangerous is because they can turn into meningitis., which causes painful swelling in testicles or ovaries. When the vaccine was introduced in 1967, mumps was common in babies, children and young adults. In 2009, the two-dose vaccine reduced the rate of mumps by 99 percent. The United States hasn’t seen an outbreak since 2009, when a young boy brought the mumps to New York from the United Kingdom.
Rubella (German Measles) can start without having any other symptoms, however, in most cases, a rash, mild fever and swollen lymph nodes will be present. Although this mild illness has only a three day course, if a pregnant women gets rubella, this can cause a miscarriage or possible birth defects in her baby. In 1964, 12.5 million cases were reported and 20,000 infants were born blind, mentally disabled or deaf.
If a baby is between 6 and 11 months of age and planning on traveling out of the United States, it’s recommended to get vaccinated.
It’s recommended to give a child between the ages of 12 and 15 months, 1 dose and another dose should be given between the ages of 4 and 6 years.
Who Shouldn’t Get The Vaccine?
Any child who has egg allergies are advised against getting the vaccine. If a child has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to gelatin, an antibiotic will be given to avoid a possible allergic reaction before the vaccination is given. You should not vaccinate if your child is taking steroids, has cancer, has a blood disorder or is taking any medication that affects their immune system.