This vaccine can help protect your child against 3 common diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella.

Measles, also called "red measles,"is caused by a virus and is spread by coughing and sneezing. Symptoms include fever, cough, red eyes, runny nose, and red skin rash (the rash usually appears a few days after the other symptoms) that last for 1 to 2 weeks. Sometimes it can cause complications such as pneumonia, ear infections, deafness, brain damage, seizures, and death.

Mumps is also caused by a virus. It is spread by coughing, sneezing, and close personal contact. Symptoms include fever, headache, and painful swelling of the cheeks and neck. Mumps can cause serious complications including deafness, brain damage, or infertility (inability to have children).

Rubella, also known as "German measles," is caused by a virus. It is spread by close personal contact as well as coughing and sneezing. It is milder than measles and causes a rash, low fever, swollen glands, and symptoms similar to the common cold. If a pregnant woman gets infected with rubella, the baby may be born with permanent problems such as blindness, deafness, and brain damage.

For maximum protection, your child needs to receive all doses on time. Health Canada's National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends that most infants and children receive 2 doses of the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. Each province or territory has slightly different recommendations on when vaccine doses should be given. See the immunization schedule for your province or territory, or talk to your child's health care professional to find out when your child should receive their doses to get full vaccine coverage.

The measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine is not intended to be used for treatment of active infection. As with other vaccines, this vaccine may not protect 100% of people who receive it, and it may cause side effects.