Measles, mumps, rubella vaccination for children and adults

The Swiss population is anything but united when it comes to getting vaccinated. The topic of vaccination is highly controversial. We shed some light on the subject. You can decide for yourself which vaccinations make sense for you.

Measles, mumps and rubella are highly infectious viral diseases with an increased risk of complication. Catching rubella while pregnant can cause birth defects in unborn babies. Children and adults infected with measles or mumps have an increased risk of severe inflammation in areas such as the outer protective layer of the brain (the meninges), lungs or parotid salivary glands. A measles infection can even be fatal.


Vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella – also referred to as the MMR vaccination – is offered as a combination vaccination. Two doses are required for immunity. The vaccination cannot provide 100% protection against an infection. In general, the more people who are vaccinated, the smaller the risk of infection for vaccinated and vaccinated individuals.

As with any vaccination, redness, soreness and swelling may be experienced on the site of the injection. Between 2 and 16 out of 10,000 children who get the vaccination suffer convulsions as a result. Concerns that the MMR jab can cause autism or other serious illnesses are not backed up by scientific studies.

The Harding Centre for Risk Literacy at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development has conducted scientific studies to set out the potential risks and benefits of the MMR vaccination and has presented these in a series of model calculations.

If 10,000 unvaccinated individuals came into contact with Measles, around 9,310 would get infected. This figure is reduced to 93 – 745 out of 10,000 after vaccination. A complete MMR vaccination can reduce the rate of measles-related lung and meninges inflammation. The vaccination also prevents measles-related deaths.

If 10,000 unvaccinated individuals came into contact with mumps, 2,400 – 4,800 would get infected. This figure is reduced to around 72 – 912 out of 10,000 after vaccination. Vaccination reduces the risk of inflammation of the auditory nerve and the associated loss of hearing. Complete vaccination can protect against other mumps-related inflammation in areas including the parotid gland, cardiac muscle and meninges.

If 10,000 unvaccinated individuals came into contact with rubella, 4,000 – 9,000 would get infected. This figure is reduced to 40 – 270 out of 10,000 after vaccination. Vaccination significantly reduces the risk of harm to unborn babies from rubella.


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