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Children's Health

MMR vaccine



Hai Doctor,  I want to ask something about MMR vaccine. As we know, ACIP recommended that every children between 12-15 months should receive first shot of MMR vaccine. They also said that if our child has received the first dose before 12 month, it is not counted as the first one. I don`t understand that statement. And my another question is: Why MMR vaccine is given at 12-15 month?


Those are good questions! I am sure many parents have wondered about the same thing. Here are the answers.

"Most infants born in the United States will receive passive protection against measles, mumps, and rubella in the form of antibodies from their mothers. These antibodies can destroy the vaccine virus if they are present when the vaccine is given and, thus, can cause the vaccine to be ineffective. By 12 months of age, almost all infants have lost this passive protection." Taken from:

The MMR vaccine given earlier may be inactivated by antibodies the child received from the mother. The blood test to see if the immunization given at an earlier age was effective costs more than the vaccine and, if a good immune response is not present, the child will need another dose of vaccine. So the cost for the test and possibly an extra dose of vaccine is just not a good use of health care dollars.

We know from many high quality studies that 95% of all 12-month-olds will successfully produce immune antibodies and 98% of all 15-month-olds will do so. It just makes sense to have one clear rule that prevents wasteful use of vaccines and assures that children receive the vaccine when it is most likely to benefit the child.
Thank you for your questions.

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Response by:

Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University