What is MMR?
Measles, Mumps, Rubella are called MMR in short. MMR are common childhood diseases that are highly contagious. It can lead to serious complications including death.

Measles – Measles is a highly contagious disease. It spreads by coughing, sneezing and contact with contaminated items and surfaces. The symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and rash all over the body. Complications of Measles include ear and brain infection, pneumonia and even death.

Mumps – Mumps is a contagious disease, it spreads by coughing, sneezing and through the saliva of an infected person. The symptoms include swelling of salivary glands, fever, and headache. Complications of Mumps include infertility and inflammation of brain and spinal cord.

Rubella – Rubella is a contagious disease that is also known as German measles. It spreads through the air and by close contact, it can be transmitted to the foetus by an infected mother. The symptoms include rash and fever.


How to prevent these diseases?

The most effective way to prevent Measles, Mumps & Rubella is to take the MMR vaccination. The vaccine contains live but very weak viruses of the three diseases. After receiving the shot, the viruses cause a harmless infection as the body learns to attack the measles, mumps, or rubella virus they are exposed to it. As a result, it is unlikely the person will get sick with any of the three diseases.


When should my child start MMR vaccination?

With effect from 1st December 2011, children will receive both doses of MMR vaccine at a younger age. According to the revised recommended National Childhood Immunisation Schedule for healthy newborn in Singapore, the first dose of MMR vaccination should be given when the child is 12 month old. The second dose should be given between the ages of 15 to 18 month. 

Prior to this, it is recommended for children to take their first dose between 12 to 24 months old and second dose between 6 to 7 years old. The new recommended schedule will help to reduce the number of measles cases seen in unvaccinated children aged 15 months and below. 

National Childhood Immunisation Schedule01


Source: Health Promotion Board, Ministry of Health