What are measles, mumps and rubella?

Measles, mumps, rubella and varicella are infectious diseases that are caused by four different viruses. They are spread when the viruses are passed from an infectious person to someone who is not immune to them. Rubella is also known as ‘German measles’ and varicella is also known as chickenpox.

What is the MMR vaccine?

MMR vaccine is the combined vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella. It contains live, weakened measles, mumps and rubella viruses. MMRV vaccine also includes live, weakened varicella virus. The term ‘MMR-containing vaccine includes both MMR and MMRV vaccines.

Over 90 countries around the world use MMR vaccine.1 A smaller, though increasing, number of countries use both MMR and MMRV vaccines.

Two doses of MMR-containing vaccine are recommended, the first at around 12 months of age. In Australia, the first dose is given as MMR at 12 months and the second dose as MMRV at 18 months. Some countries give the second dose at 4–5 years. A second dose of varicella vaccine is also recommended in Australia but must be purchased. 

About this decision aid

This decision aid has been developed by a team of researchers who specialise in vaccination and communication sciences, including Professor Julie Leask,1,2 Catherine Wallace,1 Professor Lyndal Trevena,2 Dr Cath Jackson3 and Dr Swati Shouri.4
1 National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS)
2 The University of Sydney
3 The University of York
4 The University of Leeds
The authors have no conflicts of interest to report with respect to MMR or MMRV vaccination.
The decision aid has been developed using the International Patient Decision Aid Standards

The decision aid has been evaluated in four studies:

  • Wallace C, Leask J, Trevena LJ. Effects of a web based decision aid on parental attitudes to MMR vaccination: a before and after study. British Medical Journal. 2006;332(7534):146-9.
  • Jackson C, Cheater FM, Peacock R, Leask J, Trevena L. A feasibility study of a web based MMR decision aid to support informed decision-making by UK parents. Health Education Journal. 2009;69(1):74-83.
  • Shourie S, Jackson C, Cheater FM, Bekker HL, Edlin R, Tubeuf S, et al. A cluster randomised controlled trial of a web based decision aid to support parents’ decisions about their child's MMR vaccination. Vaccine. 2013;31(50):6003-10.
  • Tubeuf S, Edlin R, Shourie S, Cheater FM, Bekker H, Jackson C. Cost effectiveness of a web-based decision aid for parents deciding about MMR vaccination: a three-arm cluster randomised controlled trial in primary care. British Journal of General Practice 2014;64(625):e493-9.

Copyright NCIRS 2019 - Last updated 20 September 2019


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