After the MMR dose zero vaccination - HP8229

June 2023
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Information for parents and caregivers about MMR dose zero.

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June 2023
January 2023
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Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) After the MMR dose zero vaccination

The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine protects against 3 viral infections – measles, mumps and rubella.

Dose Zero

This is an extra dose given to infants between the age of 6-12 months who may be higher at risk of catching measles if there is a measles outbreak in their community or if the whānau is travelling to a region where there are active measles cases.

Dose Zero can be recommended by a doctor for infants aged over 6 months to provide short term immunity before they can receive their regular MMR vaccine doses at age 12 and 15 months.

These infants will still need two doses of MMR after they have turned 1 year to provide strong lifelong immunity and it is important not to delay these.

How might my baby feel after the vaccination?

Most immunisations do not cause a reaction, but as a normal response to the vaccine, your baby may develop a fever or experience tenderness, swelling and redness where the injection was given.

Give your child lots of cuddles and fluids to drink.

If breastfeeding, give them lots of feeds. Here are some ways to make your child more comfortable.


If your child is hot, it can help to undress them down to a single layer, for example, a singlet and nappies or pants. Make sure the room is not too hot or too cold.

Tenderness, swelling and redness at the injection site

Ice wrapped in a dry cloth, or a cooled cloth, can be held over the injection site if it is sore. Don’t rub the injection site. This can make the reaction worse.


Give paracetamol or ibuprofen only as advised by your doctor or nurse. Paracetamol may reduce the effectiveness of childhood vaccinations.


A rash may occur between 5 and 10 days after the immunisation. This rash is not contagious and shows the vaccine is working.

Rare side effects

The chance of having a serious allergic side-effect from the MMR vaccine is extremely rare and would happen within 20 minutes of being immunised. That’s why you’ll be asked to stay for 20 minutes after you have the MMR vaccine. If a severe allergic reaction does happen, the vaccinator is trained to treat it.

If you are concerned about your baby after their immunisation, contact your family doctor or nurse. You can also call Healthline 0800 611 116 day or night. You can also report any side effects to the Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) at