The best defence against the rubella virus is the rubella vaccine, of which there are two types. One is known as the MMR vaccine, which also provides protection against measles and mumps, and the other is the MMRV vaccine, which also includes protection against chickenpox. It is important to note that having the vaccine or a previous rubella infection does not always provide lifelong immunity. If you are unsure if you are protected, come in and see us; a simple blood test will determine your immunity.
Under the National Immunisation Program Schedule, the rubella vaccine is available free for some Victorians, including:
- All those 19 years of age and under
- Women planning pregnancy or post-partum
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
It is not recommended that those with a weakened immune system receive the rubella vaccine. If you are unsure if this includes you, come in and speak with us.
Pregnancy and the rubella vaccine
It is important if you are planning to get pregnant that you see us to get a blood test to check your immunity against rubella. Remember, even if you have had a rubella infection in the past, or previously received the vaccine, there is still a chance your immunity has lapsed.
If you aren’t immune, you will need two doses of the vaccine 28 days apart, with a further 28 days between the second dose and conception.
What is rubella?
Rubella is a viral infection that can cause joint pain and skin rash. Although sometimes referred to as German measles, it is unrelated to the measles disease.
Up to half of those infected with rubella will show no symptoms, but those who do may experience headache, fever, diminished appetite, painful joints or swollen glands.
For more information please view the Better Health website.
For information on other vaccines, see also: