In children, rubella is usually mild with low-grade fever, nausea, rash, swollen neck lymph glands and eye redness. But infection in a pregnant woman (especially during the first trimester) can result in congenital rubella syndrome, with miscarriage, premature delivery and birth defects in the baby such as deafness, heart problems, and developmental delays.
Women can avoid the the risk of rubella and its complications in babies by getting vaccinated before pregnancy. MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine is part of Singapore National Childhood Immunisation Programme (NCIP); the first dose is recommended at 12 months of age and the second dose at 15-18 months of age.
Earlier reports of links between the MMR vaccine and autism, chronic arthritis and other chronic conditions have been discredited, and found to have no scientific basis.
However, MMR vaccine is a live vaccine, made from weakened viruses so that individuals can be protected against the actual virus if they are ever exposed. This protection is lifelong. Side effects of the vaccine are mild and may consist of low-grade fever. Rash and joint aches can occur but are uncommon.
If your child’s caregivers have never received 2 doses of MMR vaccine, if infected, they can transmit rubella to an infant who has not yet been protected by MMR vaccine.
ASK YOUR DOCTOR about MMR for your children, and also for their caregivers.
PRECAUTION: MMR is a live virus vaccine. Women who are pregnant, and persons with serious immune system problems generally should NOT receive live vaccines.