Rubella vaccine

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Rubella vaccine
Vaccine description
Target disease Rubella
Type Attenuated virus
Clinical data
Trade names Meruvax, other
MedlinePlus a601176
ATC code
  • none
 NYesY (what is this?)  (verify)

Rubella vaccine is a vaccine used to prevent rubella.[1] Effectiveness begins about two weeks after a single dose and around 95% of people become immune. Countries with high rates of immunization no longer see cases of rubella or congenital rubella syndrome. When there is a low level of childhood immunization in a population it is possible for rates of congenital rubella to increase as more women make it to child bearing age without either vaccination or exposure to the disease. Therefore, it is important for more than 80% of people to be vaccinated.[1]

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that the rubella vaccine be included in routine vaccinations. If not all people are immunized then at least women of childbearing age should be immunized. It should not be given to those who are pregnant or those with very poor immune function. While one dose is often all that is required for lifelong protection, often two doses are given.[1]

Side effects are generally mild. They may include fever, rash, and pain and redness at the site of injection. Joint pain may be reported at between one and three weeks following vaccination in women. Severe allergies are rare. The rubella vaccine is available either by itself or in combination with other vaccines. Combinations include with measles and mumps vaccine (MMR vaccine) and measles, mumps and varicella vaccine (MMRV vaccine).[1]

A rubella vaccine was first licensed in 1969.[2] It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most effective and safe medicines needed in a health system.[3] As of 2009 more than 130 countries included it in their routine vaccinations.[1] The wholesale cost of the MMR vaccine in the developing world is 0.24 USD per dose as of 2014.[4] In the United States it costs between 50 and 100 USD.[5]

Medical uses[edit]

The rubella vaccine should be administered to non-pregnant females who have tested nonimmune or have a rubella titer less than 1:10. As rubella causes upper respiratory disease that leads to complications of pneumonia and bronchitis, rubella vaccine is beneficial to control exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.


There are two main ways to delivery the rubella vaccine.[1] The first is initially efforts to immunize all people less than forty years old followed by providing a first dose of vaccine between 9 and 12 months of age.[1] Otherwise simply women of childbearing age can be vaccinated.[1]

While only one dose is really needed often two doses are provided as it usually comes mixed with the measles vaccine.[1]


It theoretically should not be given during pregnancy.[1] However, more than a thousand women have been given the vaccine when they did not realize that they were pregnant and no negative outcomes occurred.[1] Testing for pregnancy before giving the vaccine is not needed.[1]

If a low titre is found during pregnancy, the vaccine should be given after delivery. It is also advisable to avoid becoming pregnant for the 4 weeks following the administration of the vaccine.[6]

Society and culture[edit]

It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, a list of the most important medication needed in a basic health system.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Rubella vaccines: WHO position paper." (PDF). Releve epidemiologique hebdomadaire / Section d'hygiene du Secretariat de la Societe des Nations = Weekly epidemiological record / Health Section of the Secretariat of the League of Nations. 86 (29): 301–16. 15 July 2011. PMID 21766537. 
  2. ^ Atkinson, William (2011). Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (12 ed.). Public Health Foundation. pp. 301–323. ISBN 9780983263135. Retrieved Mar 2015.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ "WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (19th List)" (PDF). World Health Organization. April 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  4. ^ "Vaccine, Measles-Mumps-rubella". International Drug Price Indicator Guide. Retrieved 8 December 2015. 
  5. ^ Hamilton, Richart (2015). Tarascon Pocket Pharmacopoeia 2015 Deluxe Lab-Coat Edition. Jones & Bartlett Learning. p. 315. ISBN 9781284057560. 
  6. ^ Marin, M; Güris, D; Chaves, SS; Schmid, S; Seward, JF; Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (CDC) (22 June 2007). "Prevention of varicella: recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).". MMWR. Recommendations and reports : Morbidity and mortality weekly report. Recommendations and reports / Centers for Disease Control. 56 (RR-4): 1–40. PMID 17585291. 
  7. ^ "WHO Model List of EssentialMedicines" (PDF). World Health Organization. October 2013. Retrieved 223 April 2014.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

External links[edit]