While some may think of measles and mumps as diseases of the past, the viruses are still common in much of the world, including Western Europe. Both are very contagious and can infect anyone who has not had measles or mumps and has not been properly vaccinated.
Almost everyone born before 1957 had these diseases in childhood. Those born more recently who are unsure should discuss vaccinations with their health care provider, who may suggest at least one dose before traveling abroad.
Some parents may have lingering concerns about the MMR vaccine because of old allegations that the vaccine might be associated with the development of autism. These claims have repeatedly been disproven by medical research over the last decade; there is no evidence of any connection between MMR vaccine and autism-related conditions.
MMR vaccines are required in Tennessee for children attending daycare, all school children and college students, and two doses have been required since 1990.
Children routinely get the first dose at 12 to 15 months of age and the second dose before Kindergarten.
Vaccines and immunization services are available through all county health departments in Tennessee and at more than 1,500 physicians’ offices across the state. Doctors enrolled in the federal Vaccines for Children program may give free, federally-funded vaccine to eligible children from birth through 18 years of age.