Immunization Schedule, Children (cont.)
Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Vaccine
This combination vaccine is given to protect against measles, mumps, and rubella (also known as German measles).
A child could catch these highly contagious diseases by being exposed to someone who is infected. They spread from person to person through the air.
- The first vaccine dose is given at 12-15 months of age. The second dose is usually given to children at 4-6 years of age but can be given at any time, provided that it has been at least four weeks since the first dose (and that both doses were given after the child's first birthday).
- Separate vaccines for each component of measles and mumps only are not available in the United States. A (German) measles-only vaccine is generally administered to women in the childbearing years who do not have evidence of immunity. Intrauterine fetal infection with measles virus can lead to catastrophic consequences.
Chickenpox (also called varicella) is a common childhood disease. It is usually mild, but it can be serious, especially in young infants and adults.
Chickenpox can be spread from person to person through the air or by contact with fluid from chickenpox blisters.
- This vaccine is recommended for children who have not had chickenpox in order to minimize their chances of getting the disease and its complications. About 5% of children who receive the vaccine may still get the disease, but it is usually milder than in unvaccinated children (with fewer skin lesions, quicker recovery time, and lower chance for complications).
- The vaccine schedule generally follows that of the MMR vaccination schedule (see above). The first dose is generally given at 12-15 months of age, and a booster is given between 4-6 years of age. The second vaccination may be combined with the second MMR vaccination and administered by a single shot (MMRV).
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/10/2015
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