The MMR vaccine provides immunity against three viral diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella. As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MMR vaccines are available for children and adults, particularly those who are traveling abroad.
Why should you get vaccinated against MMR?
There are several benefits to getting the MMR vaccine, including:
Protection against measles, mumps, and rubella
The MMR vaccine provides immunity against these three viral diseases, which can be serious, even life-threatening in some cases.
- Measles is a contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. Symptoms of measles include fever, runny nose, cough, and a rash all over the body. The disease spreads very easily, so it is important to protect against infection.
- Mumps is a contagious viral disease that can cause deafness, meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord covering), and painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries. Symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swelling of the salivary glands.
- Rubella, or German measles, is a contagious viral disease that causes fever and rash for two to three days. It is spread by contact with an infected person, through coughing and sneezing.
Rubella infections during pregnancy can be avoided by making sure you have immunity to the Rubella virus. For this purpose, an IgG antibody titer or MMR titer test showing immunity can be done by a healthcare professional.
Prevention of outbreaks
When a large percentage of the population is vaccinated, it helps to prevent outbreaks of these diseases. This is called herd immunity, and it helps to protect people who are unable to receive the vaccine, such as infants, pregnant women, and individuals with certain health conditions.
Reduction in disease-related deaths
Measles, mumps, and rubella can cause serious complications, including pneumonia, encephalitis, and deafness. The MMR vaccine helps to reduce the number of deaths from these diseases.
The MMR vaccine is typically given in two doses, with the second dose providing long-lasting protection against these diseases. This means that you only need to get vaccinated a few times in your lifetime, which is more convenient than getting multiple shots for each individual disease.
The MMR vaccine is a cost-effective way to protect against these three diseases, as compared to the cost of treating a serious case of one of these diseases.
Overall, getting the MMR vaccine is an important step in protecting yourself and others against measles, mumps, and rubella. If you have any questions or concerns about the vaccine, it’s best to speak with your doctor.