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Diseases > Measles
Recommendations for Prevention

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Picture of child with severe case of Measles


The MMR vaccine is the safest protection you can give your child against measles. Children should be given the first dose of MMR vaccine soon after the first birthday (12 to 15 months of age). The second dose is recommended before the start of the kindergarten.


Students entering middle school, highschool, or college should have their vaccination records reviewed to make sure they have recieved both doses of the MMR vaccine. 

Outbreaks continue to occur in high schools (one or two per year) and on college campuses (less than 1per year). These educational institutions are potential high-risk areas for measles transmission because of large concentrations of susceptible people. That is why the CDC recommends that all states require proof of either two doses of the measles vaccine or evidence of past measles infection at the time of college or other post-highschool entry.

Note: Pregnant women should not receive the MMR vaccine. Also, pregnancy should be avoided 1 month following the receipt of the measles vaccine and 3 months following the MMR vaccine.


Adults born after 1957 should receive at least one dose of measles vaccine unless they have already had measles and are immune. (This vaccine can also be given as measles mumps rubella (MMR) vaccine or measles rubella (MR) vaccine.) Those at increased risk of getting measles — college students, international travelers and health care workers — should receive two doses, provided they are given no less than 1 month apart.

Note: Pregnant women should not receive the MMR vaccine. Women should not become pregnant for 28 days following the receipt of the MMR vaccine or any of its components.


People traveling outside of the United States are at increased risk of exposure to measles and should have evidence of measles immunity. This disease is quite common in many countries throughout the world. The CDC recommends that travelers who are not immune to measles receive two doses of the MMR vaccine for their own protection and to prevent importation of the measles virus into the U.S.

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This page last modified on July 28, 2006


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