The first dose of rubella vaccine should be given at 12 to 15 months of age.
The second dose of rubella vaccine can be given anytime, as long as the child is at least 12 months old and it has been at least a month since the first dose. The second rubella vaccine dose is usually given before the child begins kindergarten or first grade (about four to five years of age) or before entry to middle school (about 11 to 12 years of age). The age at which the second dose is required is generally mandated by state school entry requirements.
Some adults should also get rubella vaccine. Generally, anyone 18 years of age or older, who was born after 1956, should get at least one dose of rubella vaccine, unless they can show that they have had either the vaccines or the diseases.
More than 95 percent of the people who receive a single dose of rubella vaccine will develop immunity to rubella. A second rubella vaccine gives immunity to almost all of those who did not respond to the first dose.
Most people who get MMR vaccine develop no side effects. However, a vaccine, like any medicine, can cause side effects. Most MMR side effects are minor, meaning that the symptoms improve on their own or are easily treated by the healthcare provider. In rare cases, MMR side effects can be more serious or, in very rare cases, cause death.
(Click MMR Side Effects for more information.)
Pregnant women should wait to get the rubella vaccine until after they have given birth. Women should avoid getting pregnant for four weeks after getting MMR vaccine.
(Click MMR Vaccine Precautions to learn about groups of people who should wait or not receive MMR vaccine.)