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Infection advice / MMR Vaccine

The MMR vaccine is a safe and highly effective vaccine that protects against three different infections, Measles, Mumps and Rubella. These diseases can have serious complications, and are highly infectious. Some potentially fatal complications of these diseases can be meningitis and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). MMR vaccination

Following the introduction of the MMR vaccine in the UK in 1988, these serious complications are rare; however there have been recent outbreaks of these diseases, particularly measles, where individuals had not been vaccinated.

Mumps in young adults

Outbreaks of mumps are particularly common in young people. The disease can spread quickly and easily, and can lead to serious complications, including swelling of the ovaries and testicles, infertility, meningitis and deafness. Most cases of mumps are in older teenagers and young adults so it's especially important if you are in this age group that you are fully vaccinated. Read more about mumps on NHS choices.

The vaccine

The MMR vaccine is given as two doses, the first dose is given to babies after their first birthday, and the second dose given before starting school. Both doses of the vaccine are required to protect against the diseases.

If you think you missed or only received one dose of the vaccine you can receive a catch up vaccination on the NHS. Arrange to see your GP to receive the vaccine. If you are not sure if you have had both doses of the vaccine, check with your GP.

Read more about the MMR vaccine on NHS choices.

You can watch a case study about measles, ‘Rachel’s story’ on our patient stories page.