Who needs to have the MMR vaccine?
The MMR vaccine gives long lasting protection with two doses of the vaccine. All children over the age of one, should have two doses. The first dose is usually given at one year of age and the second dose is usually given at age 3-years-old and 4- months-old.
Older children and adults should have two doses of the vaccine with a one-month gap between them. It is never too late to have the vaccine if you haven’t had two doses.
Can I have the MMR in separate injections?
The MMR vaccine is given as a combined vaccine within the UK, rather than a series of single ones. There is no country in the world recommending giving vaccines against the three infections separately.
Is it a live vaccine?
Yes it is. This means that the MMR vaccine is not recommended for people with a severely weakened immune system. For example, people receiving chemotherapy.
If you have a medical condition, or are taking medicine that may affect your immune system, check with your healthcare provider if it's safe for you to have the MMR vaccine.
Does the MMR vaccination cause autism?
There's no evidence of any link between the MMR vaccine and autism. There are many studies that have investigated this. For further information or concerns, discuss this with a healthcare professional.
How do I know that my child has received their MMR vaccinations?
If you are unsure whether your child has previously had the MMR vaccine, you can check with your GP or School Age Immunisation Service.
My child is allergic to eggs, can they still have the vaccine?
If your child has been in intensive care because of their egg allergy, they will be offered an alternative vaccination. Please speak to the immunisation team if you are unsure if your child can receive the vaccine.
How long is the gap between doses? Do you have to restart a course if the gap is too long?
Dose 1 is given at 12 months old, dose 2 is given at 3 years 4 months as per the immunisation schedule. If doses are given outside of the schedule there must be a minimum of four weeks between doses. There is no maximum gap between doses so there is no need to restart the programme.
Where can you get the vaccine?
From your GP surgery
All children aged one year to 3 years 4 months should be offered the vaccine as part of their routine vaccinations at their GP surgery. Older children and adults should contact their GP practice if they have had one or no doses of the vaccine.
From your School Age Immunisation Service
The School Age Immunisation Service can offer all school-aged children the MMR vaccine, either in a school setting or a community clinic.