Side Effects and Injuries Linked to MMR Vaccine Everyone Should Know

MMR Vaccine Side Effects

Since its invention in 1971, the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) combination vaccine has saved thousands of lives every year. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), it is estimated that in the decade before a measles vaccine was available, “3 to 4 million people in the United States were infected each year.”

In addition, “an estimated 400 to 500 people died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 4,000 suffered encephalitis (swelling of the brain) from measles.”1 Mumps and rubella were common childhood diseases during this period as well. Thanks to the MMR vaccine, most children are now immune from these diseases before they start elementary school.

However, in some cases, the MMR vaccines can cause mild to severe side effects in both children and vaccines. It is important you know about these symptoms in case you or someone you love experiences them after an MMR vaccine injection.

Mild Side Effects of MMR Vaccine

Most symptoms someone may experience after receiving an MMR vaccine are often minor and do not require hospitalization. Typically, they go away within “6-14 days after the shot.”2 The following is a list of these common MMR vaccine side effects:

  • Fever (up to 1 person out of 6)2
  • Mild rash (about 1 person out of 20)2
  • Swelling of glands in the cheeks or neck (about 1 person out of 75)2
  • Sore arm after shot3

Moderate Side Effects of MMR Vaccine

These adverse effects from the MMR vaccine cause more discomfort than the mild side effects listed above. Here is a list of the moderate side effects the MMR vaccine may cause:

  • Seizure (jerking or staring) caused by fever (about 1 out of 3,000 doses)2
  • Temporary pain and stiffness in the joints, mostly in teenage or adult women who did not already have immunity to the rubella component of the vaccine (up to 1 out of 4)2, 3
  • Temporary low platelet count, which can cause a bleeding disorder (about 1 out of 30,000 doses)2

Severe Side Effects of MMR Vaccine

According to the CDC, these severe side effects are “very rare,” but a few people do experience them yearly. These severe side effects linked to the MMR vaccine include:

  • Serious allergic reaction (less than 1 out of a million doses)2 
      • Possible symptoms include hives, swelling of the face and throat, difficulty breathing, a fast heartbeat, dizziness, and weakness.2



  • Several other severe problems have been reported after a child gets MMR vaccine, including:
      • Deafness
      • Long-term seizures, coma, or lowered consciousness
      • Permanent brain damage2



Steps You Should Take Following a Serious Reaction

If you believe you or someone you love is having a serious reaction from the MMR vaccine, you should call 9-1-1 or get to the nearest hospital. After that, the CDC recommends that you file a report with the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which can be done by your doctor or through the VAERS website.2

Seriously Injured by a Vaccine? We Can Help You File a Petition with the VICP

Since 1988, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has been compensating victims of severe vaccine injuries. If a vaccine has seriously injured you or someone you love, our attorneys at Shannon Law Group P.C. can help you file a petition with the VICP.

Please call us at (312) 578-9501 or toll-free at (886) 881-9980. You can fill out our online contact form, and we will respond to you as soon as possible. A free no-obligation consultation is available as well.






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