The CDC recommends that children get two doses of the MMR vaccine, which protects people from measles, mumps, and rubella. The recommendation is to give your child a first dose of the MMR vaccine when they are 12 to 15 months old. A second dose is recommended when they are 4 to 6 years old.
The recommendations for older adults are more complicated. We asked two experts about what people born before the MMR vaccination became prevalent need to know.
Deborah Wexler, MD, is the executive director of the Immunization Action Coalition. She tells Health that the CDC recommends that adults who were vaccinated between 1963 and 1967 get the MMR vaccine. The reason is this: The measles vaccine administered between 1963 and 1967 wasn’t as strong as the MMR vaccine administered now. “Immunity [resulting from the measles vaccine] isn’t certain during that period of time,” Dr. Wexler says. The vaccine used then was “not a live virus vaccine. [Meaning], it’s not active measles.”
Dr. Wexler says that adults who were vaccinated during this time and people who are unsure of their vaccination history need to get the MMR vaccine.