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MMR vaccination

Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccination

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Measles, Mumps and Rubella are all highly contagious viral infections that are easily spread by airborne or droplet transmission. So, you’re at risk if someone who is carrying the virus, coughs or sneezes in the same room as you. You can also become infected by touching surfaces. Frequent outbreaks of measles occur throughout the world, particularly when national MMR immunisation schedules have not been effective enough to cover a sufficient proportion of the population to offer herd immunity.

Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR), what are they?

Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination

You can easily book an MMR vaccination either through your GP or an independent vaccination clinic, like Health Klinix. You only need two doses in your lifetime to be fully protected against measles, mumps and rubella. 

In the UK, there’s only a combined MMR vaccine that’s licensed, and this protects against all three diseases. The vaccine is included in the UK childhood vaccination schedule and is normally given at 1 year and at school entry (3-4 years), but you can have the  MMR vaccine at any time if you missed it during childhood.

The combined Measles, mumps and rubella vaccination is £52 per dose for adults and £52 per dose for children. If you’re travelling then there’ll be a Travel Consultation cost of £30 per person and the vaccine cost, however, if you’re not travelling then it’s only the vaccination cost you pay.

MMR vaccine price

Dr Ravi Gowda

Dr Ravi Gowda, Consultant in Infectious Diseases or one of his highly trained clinical colleagues will be looking after your vaccine requirements. 

Who will be providing your measles, mumps and rubella vaccination?
We're a team of trained experts

Experts in Infectious Diseases

and Travel Medicine

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Over 21 years of experience in Travel Health

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Cared for more than

10,000  patients

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Over 150 5 star reviews on Google Reviews

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Book appointment online

1. Book an appointment online

Book and pay for your vaccination consultation online.

Attend your consultation

2. Attend your consultation

Complete an online health assessment and attend your consultation.

Get your vaccination

3. Get your MMR vaccination

Get the vaccination you need and you're ready to go.

How it works
Prevention icon

As ever the best way to prevent measles, mumps and rubella is through vaccination. At least 95% of any given population should be vaccinated for herd immunity protection. They’re all airborne infections, so if someone is suspected of having these infections they should isolate themselves from other people. MMR is also spread by droplets, so simple personal hygiene measures, such as covering your mouth when coughing and washing hands regularly will help prevent the spread of these diseases.

Prevention
Treatment icon

Sadly, there isn’t any effective treatment for any of the diseases, which is why you should make sure your child has had their MMR jabs before school age.

Measles, mumps and rubella treatment
Symptoms icon

Although these infections are all transmitted in the same way, their symptoms vary: Measles Initially you may develop cold-like symptoms such a fever, runny nose, cough and conjunctivitis. You might also notice white spots in your mouth. A few days later most people will develop a characteristic measles rash (see below), starting at the head and then spreading throughout the body. The main concern with measles infection is that you may develop serious complications which is why we cannot emphasise enough that you should be up to date with your MMR vaccinations. Approximately 1 in 15 of all infections leading to the following complications: - Ear infection (otitis media) - Pneumonia - Encephalitis (brain inflammation - this can lead to permanent brain damage) Measles is of particular concern in the newborn and young children when such complications can occur more frequently. Mumps The most common symptom of mumps you might experience is the swelling of glands around the sides of your face, just below your ears. You can also have other symptoms, such as headaches, joint pains, nausea, abdominal pain, high temperature and feeling tired. Rubella The main symptoms of rubella is a spotty rash, which starts on the face or behind the ears, and then spreads to the neck and body. Other symptoms you might experience can include: high temperatures, coughing, sneezing, headaches, sore throat, aching fingers, wrists or knees, and sore eyes.

Measles, mumps and rubella symptoms
Virus icon

They are all acute viral infections of childhood that spread in communities and countries with poor MMR vaccination rates. Following a decline in MMR vaccination rates in the late 1990s, the UK has had frequent outbreaks of measles. These measles outbreaks tend to occur in children but adults can also be affected.

Measles, mumps and rubella causes
Side effects icon

The MMR vaccine is very well tolerated with few side-effects. The most common side effects are injection site soreness and fever. As it’s made from live, weakened viruses, you should not receive the vaccine if you’re pregnant or have a weakened immune system.

Measles, mumps and rubella vaccine side effects
  • All individuals should receive two doses of the MMR vaccine and this is particularly important if you’re travelling abroad to countries where the incidence of measles are higher. You should also be up to date with your MMR vaccine schedule if you’re a healthcare professional.

     

    Also, if you have a baby over 6 months old who has not yet received their first dose, or a young child who has not yet received their second dose, we would recommend that your child have this dose early if they are travelling to high risk areas. Please ask us for advice.

  • Two doses at least 4 weeks apart should give you life long protection.

  • Unless you’ve been previously infected with measles or have had at least two measles vaccinations in your life then you’ll be at risk. In the UK, there have been more than a doubling of measles cases in the first six months of 2023 compared to last year (Source NHS England). Most of these have been in London but all regions of the UK have had cases.

     

    Measles is also more common in Europe and many of the cases in the UK have been imported from travellers returning from Europe. Nonetheless, measles is much more common throughout the world. Take a look at the list of top 10 countries with the highest incidence of measles.

  • As it’s a live vaccine, you should not have the MMR vaccine if you’re pregnant.

    • Measles is 7-18 days, average 10 days

    • Mumps is 12-25 days, average 16-18 days

    • Rubella 12- 23 days, average 17 days

  • Yes, they’re spread by droplets, coughing and sneezing and are also airborne. Interestingly, they’re also infectious a few days before the symptoms start.

Frequently asked questions

Authors:

Dr Ravi Gowda, Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Travel Medicine

MBBS, MRCP(UK), DTM&H, MRCGP, DCH, DRCOG, DFFP

Caitlin Lancaster, BSc

 

Resources:

  1. Measles- NHS

  2. Measles, mumps and rubella. Chapter 21, 23 and 28  Green book: Immunisation against infectious disease

  3. UK Childhood immunisation schedule