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Measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR)


On September 1, 2020, changes were made to the Québec Immunization Program. These changes are based on a recommendation made by the Comité sur l’immunisation du Québec and concern vaccines administered at school. To find out more, go to the Changes made to the school-based vaccination program section.


Vaccination is the best protection against these diseases and their complications:

Protection against these diseases lasts throughout life.

Since June 1, 2019, Québec’s immunization schedule has provided for the administration of 2 doses of the measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox vaccine at 12 months and 18 months of age. The vaccine protects against these 4 diseases.

Women receiving the vaccine must avoid becoming pregnant in the month after the vaccination.


Some symptoms may be caused by the vaccine, e.g. redness at the injection site. Other problems may occur by chance and are not related to the vaccine, e.g. cold, gastro, headache.

MMR vaccine is safe. In most cases, it does not cause any reaction.

The nature and frequency of known reactions to vaccine
FrequencyKnown reactions to this vaccine

Very often
(less than 50% of people)

  • Joint pain in adults

(less than 10% of people)

  • Pain and redness at the injection site
  • Non contagious skin rash and moderate or high fever between the 5th and 12th day after vaccination
  • Irritability, drowsiness (sleepiness), conjunctivitis (red eyes)
  • Joint pain in children

(less than 1% of people)

  • Shivering, swollen lymph nodes and glands near the jaw

(less than 1 person in 1,000)

  • Convulsions between the 5th and 12th day after vaccination 

Very rarely
(less than 1 person in 10,000)

  • Temporary drop in the number of blood cells that help clotting

Less than 1 person in 1 million

  • Neurological problems

What to do after vaccination

Tips to follow immediately following vaccination

Wait 15 minutes before leaving premises where vaccine is received. If an allergic reaction occurs, the symptoms will appear a few minutes after the vaccination.

If you feel side effects, immediately inform the person giving the vaccine. That person will be able to treat you immediately.

Tips to follow at home

If you experience redness, pain or swelling at the injection site, apply a cold, damp compress on it.

Use medication for fever or discomfort if needed.

When to seek medical help

See a doctor if one of the following applies to you:

  • You experience serious and unusual symptoms
  • Your symptoms get worse instead of improving
  • Your symptoms last over 48 hours

Last update: May 30, 2019


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