Need help with a non-urgent medical or admin request? Contact us online.

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR)

One vaccine – the MMR vaccine is a single injection that is administered into the thigh of young children or the upper arm of older children or adults. It is a live vaccine which means that it contains weakened versions of measles, mumps and rubella viruses. These have been weakened enough to provide immunity without causing disease.

Two doses – the MMR vaccine gives long lasting protection with just two doses of the vaccine. The first dose is given at the age of 12 months and the second dose is given at around three years and four months, before starting school. Having both doses gives long lasting protection against measles, mumps and rubella. In adults and older children the two doses can be given with a one month gap between them.

Three infections – the MMR vaccine protects against three infections; measles, mumps and rubella. These are viral infections that can quickly spread to unprotected children and adults – they spread more easily than flu or the common cold.

Long lasting protection – the MMR vaccine is the safest and most effective way to protect yourself against measles, mumps and rubella. Since the vaccine was introduced in 1988, these conditions have become rare in the UK. However, outbreaks of disease, especially measles, have occurred when the number of people having the vaccine has dropped. If you are unsure whether you have previously had the vaccine or not, you can check with your GP, having further doses will not cause any harm.