Measles, mumps and rubella vaccination (MMR)

The MMR vaccination protects against Measles, Mumps and Rubella. This vaccination is a part of the children’s vaccination course given under the NHS and is therefore rarely required. However, for patient’s that have missed out on one of these vaccinations they can have a catch-up dose. People moving abroad may require proof of MMR Vaccination or may be asked to have the required vaccination for application of visas.

Travel precautions

Our recommended vaccines for the most common travel destinations outside of Europe includes Hepatitis A, Typhoid and Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio (DTP) vaccines. For travellers who are visiting the developing world on a regular basis or for prolonged periods of time, we would recommend considering hepatitis B vaccine. Cholera is worth considering for travellers visiting rural areas of developing countries. The vaccine against cholera (Dukoral) also reduces the risk of the most common form of traveller’s diarrhoea caused by E coli. Dukoral is an oral vaccine given in two doses one week apart.

Individuals should ensure that they have received two doses of MMR prior to travel to areas where the risk of mumps is high. MMR is part of the childhood vaccination schedule however those who were born between 1980 and 1990 may not have received two doses of MMR vaccine. Individuals born between this time should check w that they have received vaccination.

Signs and symptoms

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can start off with flu like symptoms. Other symptoms can include red eyes that can be sensitive to light and small greyish white spots on the inside of the cheeks. Symptoms normally start 10 days after infection. Mumps are another viral infection that normally lead to painful swelling of the side of the face under the ears. Other symptoms include headaches, joint pains and high temperature. Rubella is viral infection which used to be common in children. The main symptoms are a red rash on the skin made up of small spots , swollen glands around the head and neck, flu like symptoms and aching and painful joints.

The vaccination

The vaccine consists of two vaccines usually given in childhood. It can be given in adulthood with two doses given over the period of a month. It is a vaccine that is strongly contraindicated in pregnancy.

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