Rubella Immunisation

rubella immunisation What is rubella ?

Rubella or german measles is a viral infection causing symptoms like rash, sore throat and swollen glands. The importance of rubella infection is the problem faced by pregnant women when they have rubella, the virus is likely to cause serious damage to the unborn child or cause a miscarriage. Itcauses damage to the heart, brain, hearing and sight of the baby,and condition is called as congenital rubella syndrome. After the advent of rubella immunisation there has been a dramatic fall in the number of babies born with the congenital rubella syndrome.

What is rubella vaccine?

Rubella vaccine is available as part of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Two doses of this vaccine are required to provide satisfactory protection against rubella. The first dose is given between 15 and 18 months of age this is followed by a booster injection given at age 3 years and four months to 5 years .If a dose of MMR is delayed for any reason it can still be given at a later age. MMR vaccine can be given at any age, but then , the second dose is given within one month after the first one, however, if the first dose of MMR has been given when the child is under one year old (for example, if they are travelling to an area with rubella so need the vaccine early) then two further doses of the vaccine are then needed.

However, an extremely small number of children, the immunisation is not that effective, and when they become adults their body does not have enough antibodies to protect against rubella.

Are there any tests to check immunisation?

Blood test are there to check whether the immunisation has worked is to have a blood test it checks for antibodies against Rubella in the body. Itís a regular practice during antenatal checkup to check for rubella status. This blood test may be offered to younger women in routine health checks. But, if you have not had it, ask your practice nurse for the blood test.

What does a positive test mean?

A positive test means that you are protected from rubella, but if it is negative (no antibodies), then the risk of having rubella increases. Oneshould try to keep away from people who might have rubella. Serious problems with the rubella vaccine are rare. However, mild reactions such as a slight fever, a mild sore throat and joint pains sometimes occur about 1-3 weeks after the injection. These soon subside and are of no consequence.

Is vaccine given to all people?

The vaccine should be avoided if the immune system is suppressed for example if the patient is having chemotherapy or if your immune system is suppressed for other reasons, also if the person are allergic to the medicines neomycin or gelatin (which are part of the vaccine).

It is safe to give if you are allergic to eggs.If you have had an anaphylactic reaction to egg-containing food then the MMR vaccine is usually given in hospital under controlled conditions.

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