• Rubella (sometimes called German measles) is a disease caused by a virus.
  • It is spread from person-to-person through the air.
  • Children with rubella usually first break out in a rash. Older children and adults have a mild fever, swollen glands in the neck or behind the ears, and an upper respiratory infection before they develop a rash. Adults, especially women, often suffer from aching joints. Many people infected with rubella virus have no symptoms at all.
  • Rubella can cause miscarriage or serious birth defects, including heart defects, deafness, and blindness, if the infection occurs during pregnancy.
  • It is very contagious, so when one person gets infected, it’s easy for the disease to spread. Rubella outbreaks still occur around the world.
  • Vaccination is the best way to prevent rubella.

Rubella Vaccine Schedule

Rubella Vaccine Schedule

In the United States, rubella vaccine is part of the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine. All children should get 2 doses of MMR vaccine starting at age 12 months. Some teens and adults may also need MMR vaccine if they didn’t get 2 doses when they were younger.


Rubella: Questions and Answers

Information about the disease and vaccines, from

Clear Answers and Smart Advice About Your Baby’s Shots

An excerpt from Baby 411 by Ari Brown, MD, FAAP, provides clearly written information about safe and effective vaccines.

Partner Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Rubella (German Measles, Three-Day Measles)

Find fact sheets, resources, multimedia, and more for parents and children from CDC.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Vaccines for Your Children: Vaccine (Shot) for Rubella

Two doses of the MMR shot (measles, mumps, and rubella) are recommended for children by doctors as the best way to protect against rubella. Learn more about meningococcal and vaccines from CDC. A Spanish-language version is also available.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Immunization: Rubella (German Measles)

Find easy-to-understand vaccine information for yourself or your loved ones, from the Department of Health & Human Services.

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
A Look at Each Vaccine: Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) Vaccine

Questions and answers about measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) and vaccines from the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Measles and Rubella Initiative logo
The Measles & Rubella Partnership

The Measles & Rubella Partnership is committed to ensuring that no child dies from measles or is born with congenital rubella syndrome. They help countries to plan, fund, and measure efforts to stop measles and rubella for good.


Warning: Some of the images are graphic.

View All Rubella Photos

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