Women of child-bearing age who are seronegative for rubella are strongly recommended to receive rubella-containing vaccine
Immunisation providers should make every effort to identify and immunise non-pregnant seronegative women of child-bearing age. This includes women who have had children. See Serological testing for immunity to rubella.
The following women are more likely to be seronegative for rubella:
- women born overseas (especially in Asia, Pacific islands, sub-Saharan Africa and South America) who entered Australia after the age of routine vaccination
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women living in rural and remote regions
- non–English speaking women
- women ≥35 years of age
- Australian-born Muslim women2-7
Seronegative women are recommended to receive MMR vaccine. Vaccinated women should avoid pregnancy for 28 days after vaccination.
Although 2 doses of MMR vaccine are routinely recommended, women who show rubella immunity after 1 dose of rubella-containing vaccine do not need another dose. Exceptions are:
- women who remain seronegative after 1 dose (see Serological testing for immunity to rubella)
- women who need protection against measles and mumps (see Measles and Mumps)
Serological testing after vaccination
Vaccinated women of child-bearing age are recommended to be tested for seroconversion 6 to 8 weeks after vaccination (see Serological testing for immunity to rubella).
Women who have negative or very low antibody levels after vaccination are recommended to have a 2nd dose. However, antibody levels that remain low after a 2nd documented vaccination are unlikely to improve with further vaccinations.8
Printed content may be out of date. For up to date information, always refer to the digital version: https://immunisationhandbook.health.gov.au/recommendations/women-of-child-bearing-age-who-are-seronegative-for-rubella-are-strongly-recommended.