All children aged ≥12 months are recommended to receive 2 doses of rubella-containing vaccine.

The vaccines usually received at each schedule point are:

  • 12 months of age — MMR
  • 18 months of age — MMRV

Age at 1st dose

MMR vaccine is not routinely recommended for infants <12 months of age. See Measles.

Children as young as 9 months of age can receive MMR vaccine in certain circumstances, including travel to measles-endemic areas (see Measles). If an infant receives MMR vaccine at <12 months of age, they still need to receive 2 vaccine doses at ≥12 months of age.

MMRV as 1st dose is not recommended

MMRV vaccine is not recommended as the 1st dose of rubella-containing vaccine in children <4 years of age. This is due to a small but increased risk of fever and febrile seizures when MMRV vaccine is given as the 1st dose of rubella-containing vaccine in this age group. See Adverse events

If MMRV vaccine is inadvertently given as dose 1 of rubella-containing vaccine, the dose does not need to be repeated (providing it was given at ≥12 months of age). The scheduled 18-month dose of MMRV should still be given at the usual time. See Table. Minimum acceptable age for the 1st dose of scheduled vaccines in infants in special circumstances in Catch-up vaccination. Advise parents and carers about the small but increased risk of fever and febrile seizures (compared with that expected after MMR vaccine).

For more details about MMRV vaccine to prevent varicella disease, see Varicella.

Catch-up vaccination for rubella

Children who have not received rubella-containing vaccine at the recommended schedule points may need extra doses of vaccine and/or an alternative schedule.

See Catch-up vaccination for more details, including minimum intervals between doses.

Page history

Last updated: 
7 June 2018
Last reviewed: 
7 June 2018