From 1 July 2013 children will receive a MMR vaccine at 12 months of age followed by a MMRV vaccine at 18 months and that will conclude their MMR vaccine requirements.
Most people born before 1966 are immune to the diseases, especially measles and mumps, because they probably had the disease in childhood.
Many high school children and young adults have not been fully vaccinated (2 doses MMR – 1 month apart).
It is also important to make sure you are fully vaccinated to protect you from these infections especially before travelling abroad, as these and many other diseases are still common outside Australia. If you’re not sure if you are fully vaccinated, have the vaccine. An extra dose of MMR vaccine will not hurt you, and will make sure you are fully protected.
Who should not have the vaccine?
Before being vaccinated, you must say if you:
- aren’t feeling well (for example you have the flu)
- have any severe allergies (such as antibiotics, latex, gelatine)
- are pregnant or plan to be pregnant in the next 2 months
- have received another live vaccination in the last month
- have received blood, blood products or immunoglobulin in the last 3 months
- have a disease (for example HIV/AIDSor cancer) or having treatment that lowers immunity.
Pregnant women and MMR vaccine
To prevent any possible harm to your baby, you shouldn’t have an MMR vaccination if you are thinking of becoming pregnant. You should also wait 2 months after having MMR vaccination before becoming pregnant.
Should you discover you are pregnant after having MMR vaccination, discuss with your doctor. There are no known cases of the vaccine harming the developing baby, but doctors generally try not to give any live vaccines or medications during pregnancy. Having MMR vaccination in early pregnancy is not a reason to terminate a pregnancy (have an abortion).