Rubella (German Measles)

Which adults should get vaccinated against rubella (also called German measles)?

  • Adults born in 1957 or later who have not been vaccinated or have not had rubella.
  • Non-pregnant women of childbearing age no matter what year they were born.
  • College students, teachers, healthcare personnel, and international travelers are at increased risk for rubella.
  • Rubella is part of a combination vaccine called MMR that also protects against measles and mumps.

Did you know...
if a pregnant woman gets rubella, there is about a one-in-five chance of damage to the fetus, like deafness, mental retardation, or liver, heart, or spleen damage?

What happens when someone gets rubella?
  • Symptoms of rubella include rash, slight fever, aching joints, and reddened eyes.
  • The rash first appears on the face, but then will continue to spread over the entire body.
  • The lymph nodes behind the ears and the back of the neck may swell, causing soreness and pain.

Why is rubella vaccine important?

  • If a pregnant woman gets rubella during pregnancy, her baby is at risk of serious birth defects including heart defects, mental retardation, liver and spleen damage, and deafness. There is a 20 percent chance of damage to the fetus if a woman is infected with rubella early in pregnancy.

FAQ: How do you get rubella?
 Rubella is a virus that is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes.