How safe is the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine?

Today’s vaccines, including the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, are the most effective and safest in history. They have protected and saved millions of lives from vaccine-preventable diseases. However, some children are too young or too sick to receive vaccines. And some children do have minor side effects, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). But the greater concern is with delaying or refusing immunizations.

The risk of not vaccinating your child against measles is higher than the risk of vaccinating. Some side effects could happen, such as minor fever, redness or swelling at the injection area or some localized pain. But these are minor and happen infrequently. The benefits far outweigh the risks.

Vaccination is the most effective form of protection from the measles virus. Children should be immunized against measles with the combination MMR vaccine and should receive two doses: the first at 12 to 15 months of age and the second at 4 to 6 years of age. If there is an underlying health condition, talk with your healthcare provider to determine the need for additional booster doses.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.