Table of Contents

What is the MMR Vaccine?

This vaccination protects against three diseases with one injection; namely, measles, mumps, and rubella. 

How are Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Spread?

While these illnesses are mostly gone from the United States, these diseases remain common in many regions across the world.  Measles, Mumps, and Rubella are highly contagious and transmit easily from coughing and sneezing. For example, CDC estimates that 9 in 10 people who are not vaccinated against measles will contract it if exposed. 

Crowded markets and busy train stations are common sights for the international traveler and pose a risk of exposure. Measles outbreaks occur globally including developed countries in Europe.  CDC tracks current outbreaks in conjunction with the World Health Organization and updates routinely here. 

Measles, mumps, and rubella are very contagious and can spread easily in crowds. Be sure you are protected before international travel with two doses of the MMR vaccine.
Many countries have low vaccination rates against measles, mumps, and rubella. Vaccinate with two doses of the MMR vaccine before departure.

Do I Need the MMR Vaccine for My Trip?

Adults born after 1956 and without two documented doses should be vaccinated before international travel.  Children living in the United States typically receive 2 doses starting at age 12 months.  It is important to verify that 2 doses of MMR vaccine have been recorded in a shot record before travel abroad.

Adults and children without 2 doses of MMR vaccine and with international travel plans do need to consider vaccination. Once completed, the vaccine is protective for lifetime against all three diseases. For adults with only 1 MMR vaccine, a 2nd can be given even if many months or years have passed since this 1st shot.  It’s important to coordinate your MMR vaccine with any other vaccines you may be receiving for travel, more on that in the section below. 

What Are the Side Effects of the MMR Vaccine?

The vaccination is given on the back of the arm between the skin and the muscle layers.  This is known as a subcutaneous injection, and can cause soreness, redness, and mild swelling at the site of administration.  Occasionally, fever and fatigue symptoms develop after vaccination too. 

What Else Should I Know About the Vaccine?

Because the MMR vaccine is “live”, some people are not recommended to take the immunization.  This includes individuals with a weakened immune system and pregnant women.   Keep in mind, the MMR vaccine should be given on the same day as other live vaccines (e.g. Yellow Fever) or separated by four weeks.    Destination Health will review your health and medication history to ensure you are safe to take the vaccine before administration.  

Crowds are a part of travel and bring risk of illness spread by coughing and sneezing. Measles is highly contagious and be sure you are fully vaccinated before travel

Where Can I Find the MMR Vaccine Near Me?

Whether you’re needing the MMR vaccine for upcoming travel or healthy living in the US, Destination Health Travel Clinic can help out. Call or schedule online to book an appointment.  

Measles outbreaks are being reported in over 30 countries, read more about the current situation

Check Your Immune Status with a Titer Test

Vaccine records, especially from childhood, often go missing.  A simple blood test is available to check your immune status against measles, mumps, and rubella. Also called the MMR antibody titer, this provides the option of verifying your immunity without re-vaccination.