Measles can be prevented with the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. The vaccine is free and recommended for children at 12 months and between 4-6 years of age as part of their other childhood immunizations.
The MMR vaccine is also free and recommended for adults who have never had measles, mumps, or rubella or received the vaccine.
- The measles vaccine is combined with the mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR vaccine), so a person can receive protection from several diseases with one shot.
- People born before 1970 are likely to have acquired immunity to measles or mumps from natural infection and therefore do not require the MMR vaccine. However, there may be a very small number of susceptible individuals born before 1970 who do not have a history of measles or mumps disease or vaccine. These individuals are eligible for 1 dose of the MMR vaccine.
- It is recommended that people born in 1970 or later get 2 doses of the MMR vaccine. This is especially important for travelers.
- The efficacy of a single dose of measles vaccine given at 12 or 15 months of age is estimated to be 85% to 95%. With a second dose, efficacy is almost 100%.
For more information about the vaccine, who should get it, the benefits and typical side effects, read our HealthLinkBC files: