In the triple vaccine against measles, mumps, and rubella, three live, but weakened viruses are mixed together and given at the same time.

In Israel, the vaccine is routinely administered at the age of 12 months in conjunction with the chicken pox vaccine.

Since a certain percentage of vaccinated kids lost their protection after several years, it was decided at some point to give another dose in the first grade.


Without a vaccine, anyone is likely to contract measles, which is a very contagious disease. Symptoms include a rash, fever, and inflammation of the eyes, but it can also cause diarrhea, inflammation of the brain tissue, ear infections, and even pneumonia.

Rarely, several years after the infection, a dangerous disease known as subacute total sclerosing encephalitis may appear, resulting in the death of the patient. A patient suffering from measles will suffer from pneumonia six times out of a hundred, brain inflammation once out of every thousand, and total sclerosis twice out of a thousand.


Mumps is caused by a virus called MUMPS and manifests as an inflammation of the salivary glands. Five patients out of a thousand will also develop inflammation of the brain tissue and ten to twenty percent will develop inflammation of the testicles. In addition, the disease can also lead to unilateral hearing loss, pancreatitis, and infertility.


Symptoms of rubella include high fever, enlargement of lymph nodes, widespread skin rashes, joint pain, and a decrease in blood platelets. It is generally considered a mild disease, however, if it is transmitted from the mother to the fetus. It can cause enlargement of the spleen and liver, heart defects, cataracts, small head circumferences, and developmental and growth disorders. One in four babies exposed to the virus while in the womb are at risk of developing tetanus.

Triple vaccine side effects

Injection of the vaccine may result in local side effects such as swelling, redness, and pain. Additionally, between five and fifteen percent of those vaccinated may develop a high fever within five to twelve days of vaccination, which may last for several days without any further symptoms.

A rash may also appear in five percent of those who are vaccinated, and other side effects may include cough, eye inflammation, or sore throat. Vaccines have a very low risk of developing inflammation in the brain tissue, which stands at one in a million.

The rubella virus component in the vaccine is responsible for a relatively common side effect of enlargement of the lymph nodes, but this component may also result in joint pain in half of those vaccinated. Mumps virus components may cause inflammation of the salivary glands or testicles in very rare cases.

When should you not vaccinate?

Contraindications to receiving the vaccine include the following:

  • An individual may be sensitive to one or more components of the vaccine, such as gelatin or neomycin.
  • Pregnant women should not receive the vaccine.
  • Use of steroids.
  • Children with immune system disorders.