side effects of rubella vaccines

Rubella Vaccine Side Effects

The most common rubella vaccine side effects are fever and a mild rash. There are also reports of severe side effects like seizures, thrombocytopenia, allergic reactions, and even death.

What are rubella vaccine names?

The only rubella vaccine on the market in the United States is a combination vaccine called M-M-R-II® (Measles-Mumps-Rubella Live Virus Vaccine) that is manufactured by Merck & Co. This immunization is also known as the MMR vaccine.

How is the vaccine given?

Two doses of the M-M-R II vaccine against rubella are recommended for children, with the first dose between the ages of 12-15 months and the second dose between 4-6 years old. The vaccine is given as an injection (shot) in the upper arm or thigh.

Can the vaccine cause rubella?

The rubella vaccine is a live attenuated vaccine, which means it contains a live rubella virus that is much weaker than normal. Some children develop a mild illness similar to rubella, with symptoms like fever, skin rash, and feeling sick for a few days.

What are common side effects of the rubella vaccine?

  • Injection-site pain, redness, swelling, or lump
  • Fever
  • Skin rash
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Joint or muscle pain (mostly teenagers and adults)
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

What are severe side effects of the rubella vaccine?

Tell your doctor if you develop severe side effects of the rubella vaccine, such as a high fever, easy bruising or bleeding, mental or mood changes (such as confusion).

About 1 in 3,000 children who get the MMR vaccine develop a high fever that causes a seizure, also known as a febrile seizure.

About 1 in 30,000 children who get the MMR vaccine develop thrombocytopenia, a temporary condition that causes low blood platelet count, abnormal bruising and bleeding under the skin.

Less than 1 in 1,000,000 children who get the MMR vaccine develop a life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis.

What other side effects have been reported?

There are reports of children who suffered deafness, coma, deceased consciousness, or long-term seizure disorders after receiving the rubella vaccine. These side effects are so rare that it is unknown if they were caused by the vaccine.

The M-M-R II vaccine has been linked to reports of the following side effects:

  • Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM)
  • Allergic reaction
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Angioedema
  • Arthritis
  • Ataxia
  • Atypical rubella
  • Bronchial spasm
  • Convulsions
  • Death
  • Deafness
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Ear infection (otitis meida)
  • Encephalitis
  • Encephalopathy
  • Epididymitis
  • Erythema multiforme
  • Facial swelling
  • Febrile seizures (high fever causing seizure)
  • Fever
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Leukocytosis
  • Lymphadenopathy (enlarged lymph nodes)
  • Malaise
  • Rubella inclusion body encephalitis (MIBE)
  • Meningitis
  • Nausea
  • Neurological disorders
  • Ocular palsies
  • Optic neuritis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Panniculitis
  • Papillitis
  • Paresthesia
  • Parotitis
  • Pneumonia and pneumonitis
  • Polyneuritis
  • Polyneuropathy
  • Purpura
  • Rash (rubella-like rash)
  • Retinitis
  • Seizures
  • Sore throat
  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS)
  • Syncope (fainting)
  • Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE)
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Transverse myelitis
  • Vasculitis
  • Vomiting

Where can I get more information?

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