Prevention of rubella

Discover how rubella can be prevented.

How can rubella be prevented?

Rubella can be prevented through immunization. It is recommended that children be given a first dose of a combined vaccine at 12 to 15 months of age. The combined vaccine is either:

  • measles-mumps-rubella (MMR)
  • measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV)

A second dose is given at 18 months of age or at 4 to 6 years of age.

The rubella vaccine is a live weakened virus. These combination vaccinations are given by needle and are safe. Side effects of the rubella vaccine are very mild and usually go away in a few days.

Getting vaccinated is much safer than becoming infected with rubella. Reactions to the rubella vaccine may include:

  • fever
  • mild rash
  • swelling of glands in the cheeks or neck
  • seizure
  • temporary low platelet count
  • muscle aches

The rubella vaccine is recommended for anyone who is vulnerable to the infection, especially women of childbearing age. It is very important for you to get vaccinated if you have not:

  • been previously vaccinated
  • had a rubella infection

If you are pregnant, you should delay being vaccinated until after your baby is born. Even though it has never happened, you could, in theory, pass on the rubella vaccine virus to your fetus.

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