St. Lawrence Health

Knock Out 3 Viruses with 2 Doses

An effective way to way to protect your children and yourself against measles, mumps, and rubella is through the MMR vaccine.

May. 12, 2022 2   min read

A double dose of one vaccine can keep measles, mumps and rubella where they belong – in the past.

St. Lawrence Health reminds parents and guardians that all 50 states and the District of Columbia have state laws requiring children who are entering childcare or public schools to have certain vaccinations; the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is one of them.


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends children get the two-dose vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second dose at four to six years of age.

Another option for children aged 12 months through 12 years is the MMRV vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (chickenpox).

Common side effects of the MMR vaccine include:

  • Fever lasting 2-3 days
  • Faint red rash
  • Head cold
  • Tiredness
  • Swelling of salivary glands
  • Redness and swelling at injection site

An individual who contracts the measles could experience a high fever, rash, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. There is also the tell-tale red rash, which starts at the head and then spreads down the body, sometimes forming raised blotchy patches. The rash is typically not itchy.

Disease symptoms

Mumps causes fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, loss of appetite, and swollen salivary glands, which cause the face to become puffy.

Rubella, also called German measles, causes fever, sore throat, headache, and red, itchy eyes. It also has a distinctive red/pink rash that appears on the face, trunk, and then the arms and legs.

Teens and adults who do not have evidence of immunity against measles, mumps, and rubella are encouraged to speak with their St. Lawrence Health primary care provider about getting vaccinated. The CDC has stated the MMR vaccine is safe, and there is no harm to people who get another dose, even if they are already immune to measles, mumps, or rubella.