Rubella infection in early pregnancy can cause serious harm to the unborn baby.
Vaccination is the best way to prevent rubella. There are two vaccines available in BC that provide protection against rubella:
These vaccines are provided free as part of routine childhood immunizations and to others that need protection against rubella. The MMR and MMRV vaccines are safe and effective.
Children (12 months - less than 18 years of age)
Children are offered two doses of rubella-containing vaccine as part of their routine immunizations. The first dose (MMR vaccine) is routinely given to children at 12 months of age and the second dose (MMRV vaccine) at 4-6 years of age. While a single dose of rubella-containing vaccine is recommended for rubella protection, two doses of measles, mumps and varicella-containing vaccines are required for protection against these infections.
Adults (18 years of age and older, excluding health care workers)
One dose of rubella-containing vaccine is recommended for adults born in1957 or later who have not had rubella disease (for those who have had rubella disease, evidence of immunity is required).
Adults born before 1957 are assumed to have protection against rubella from natural infection.
Health care workers
Health care workers need one dose of rubella-containing vaccine. There is no age above which protection against rubella can be assumed for health care workers.
For more information about the MMR and MMRV vaccines, including the benefits, possible reactions after the vaccine and who should not get the vaccine, see the HealthLinkBC files:
Due to routine childhood immunization programs, it is quite rare to have cases of childhood Rubella disease.
For more information on this disease, see the rubella (14d) HealthLink BC File
Photo courtesy of Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
If you're a health care provider looking for information on immunization, please visit the Health Professionals section of the BCCDC website. There you can find clinical resources, immunization courses, print resources for patients and more.
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