Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Vaccine

Vaccine Information Leaflet

What is the MMR Vaccine Used For?

MMR vaccines help to prevent measles, mumps, and rubella. MMR vaccines contain weakened live viruses, but are not able to cause measles, mumps or rubella in healthy people. 

Measles, mumps, and rubella are infectious diseases that spread easily from one person to another through the air and can lead to serious complications. 

Measles - Measles virus causes rash, cough, runny nose, eye irritation, and fever. It can lead to ear infection, pneumonia (lung infection), seizures (jerking and staring), brain damage, and death. 

Mumps - Mumps virus causes fever, headache, muscle pain, loss of appetite, and swollen salivary glands. It can lead to deafness, meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord covering), painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries, and rarely sterility (not able to produce children). 

Rubella (German Measles) - Rubella virus causes rash, arthritis (mostly in women) and mild fever. If a woman gets rubella during pregnancy, it may lead to miscarriage or birth defects in the newborn.  

Who Should Receive the MMR Vaccine?

As part of the Singapore National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS), all children should receive two doses from age 12 months onwards, at least 4 weeks apart. 

Immunisation against measles is compulsory by law. This vaccination is also required for enrolment into schools.

As part of the Singapore National Adult Immunisation Schedule (NAIS), adults (18 years or older) who have not been vaccinated, or lack evidence of past infection or immunity should receive two doses (the first dose, and the second dose four weeks after the first dose).

What Precautions Should I Follow Before Receiving the MMR Vaccine?

Inform your healthcare professional if:
  • You are allergic to this vaccine or any of the other ingredients of this vaccine, including Neomycin (an antibiotic) or eggs
  • You are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding
  • You are taking any other medications 
  • You are currently not feeling well and having a fever
  • You have a weak immune system due to an illness such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection or cancer 
  • You are currently on medications which weaken your immune system (e.g. high dose steroids)
  • You have recently received any other vaccines
  • You have active untreated tuberculosis (a type of serious lung infection)
  • You have a history of seizures (fits)
  • You have a history of bleeding disorders or recently received a blood transfusion

How Is the MMR Vaccine Given?

The MMR vaccine is a combination vaccine given as one shot. It is given by injection just underneath the skin, as a series of two doses under the NCIS and the NAIS. 

It may be given on its own as one shot, or together with other vaccines (e.g. Varicella) as one shot.

What Are Some Common Side Effects of the MMR Vaccine?

  • Some people may feel faint after the vaccination
    • Sit for 15 minutes to avoid fainting 
  • Pain, redness and swelling at the injection site 
    • You may place a cold compress over the affected area for relief
    • You may take paracetamol for pain relief
  • Fever 
    • You may take paracetamol to treat the fever
  • Mild rash 
    • These side effects usually go away on its own 
Please see a doctor if these side effects do not get better or become worse. 

What Are Some Rare But Serious Side Effects That I Need to Seek Medical Advice Immediately?

The symptoms of a drug allergy include one or more of the following: 
  • Swollen face/eyes/lips/tongue
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Itchy skin rashes over your whole body
If you experience any of these symptoms, you should inform your healthcare professional immediately.

The information provided on this page does not replace information from your healthcare professional. Please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

This article is jointly developed by members of the National Medication Information workgroup. The workgroup consists of cluster partners (National Healthcare Group, National University Health System and SingHealth), community pharmacies (Guardian, Unity and Watsons) and Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore. The content does not reflect drug availability and supply information in pharmacies and healthcare institutions. You are advised to check with the respective institutions for such information.

Last updated on Jul 2022

Read this next:

Back to Top