About the rubella vaccine

  • The rubella vaccine protects against rubella, a very contagious disease caused by the rubella virus.
  • In the Yukon, rubella vaccination is a part of the combination immunization known as MMR, which protects infants and children from measles, mumps and rubella, all in one shot. This vaccine contains a weakened form of these three viruses, which do not cause infection.
  • The vaccine is a 2 dose series, usually offered when a child is 1 year of age and then again before the child begins school.

  • The MMR vaccine is given to children as a series of 2 doses.
    • The 1st dose is given at 12 months;  and
    • the 2nd dose is given at 4 to 6 years of age.
  • Children 4 to 12 years of age who also need protection against chickenpox (varicella) can get their 2nd dose as the combined measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (MMRV) vaccine.
  • Older children and teens who have not been immunized should also get 2 doses of the MMR vaccine.
  • Certain adults in high-risk settings may be recommended to get the vaccine if they are not immunized.
  • It is important to ensure MMR immunization is complete before pregnancy. Female recipients should avoid pregnancy for 1 month following immunization.
  • Some people cannot receive the MMR vaccine because of medical conditions, such as a compromised immune system, or pregnancy. Speak with your health care provider to find out if you are eligible for this vaccine.
  • Rubella, also known as german measles, is a very contagious virus
  • It is spread by contact with saliva or mucus of an infected person. It can easily be spread through the air by an infected person coughing or sneezing.
  • Rubella is usually a mild infection that can cause a rash, fever and swollen neck glands and joint pains.
  • Complications can include inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and/or a bleeding disorder.
  • If a pregnant woman is infected, it can cause multiple birth defects.
  • This vaccine is safe and very effective.
  • The MMR vaccine is the best way to protect against rubella and its complications.
  • The MMR vaccine is a combination vaccine that also protects against 2 other infections, mumps and measles.
  • When you or your child get vaccinated, you help protect the spread to others too.
  • This vaccination is free in the Yukon for those who need it.
  • Most children and adults have no reactions to immunization.
  • For people that do, common reactions to the immunization may include:
    • redness, tenderness, and swelling at the injection site;
    • mild to moderate fever
    • a skin rash; and
    • swelling of glands in the cheek or neck, 7 to 12 days after vaccination.
  • If the rash resembles chickenpox, keep it covered or stay way from pregnant women, infants and people with weak immune systems.
  • Teenage and adult women may experience temporary joint pain.
  • Rarely, serious reactions that may occur include:
    • seizures caused by fever;
    • low blood platelet count; and
    • encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).
  • The above reactions are very rare and the risk of them occurring is much higher following infection then vaccination.
  • Side effects of the immunization are easily relieved by applying a cold and damp compress to the site and taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen for temperatures 38.5°C or higher. See your health care provider if your symptoms are severe or last longer than 48 hours.
  • It is important to stay in the clinic for 15 minutes after getting any immunization because there is a rare possibility of developing a severe allergic reaction which is treatable at the clinic. This happens to fewer than 1 in 1 million people. If it happens after you leave the clinic, call 911 or the local emergency number. If you or your child experiences any serious or unexpected reactions, contact your physician and report all severe reactions to one of the nurses at your local Health Centre.

PROQUAD® allergens include:

  • hydrolysed gelatin;
  • neomycin;
  • bovine serum albumin and
  • egg protein


PRIORIX-TETRA® allergens include:

  • neomycin sulphate; and
  • egg protein

Find out how to get immunized