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Measles Mumps and Rubella

MMR Vaccination

Vaccination with 2 doses of the MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) vaccine is completed as part of national vaccination programmes for children in Ireland and overseas. If you have not completed your MMR vaccination in childhood, two doses of the vaccine are requried to maximise protection against these illnesses. 

If you have not had two doses of the vaccine then you should attend UCC Student Health to have one (or if needed, two) dose(s) of MMR. The MMR vaccine is free of charge. No prior appointment is needed, we will try to fit you in ASAP when you attend. You can also attend your own GP. If you need two doses they are administered 4 weeks apart.

Adults born before 1978 are considered as likley to be immune to these infections and therefore do not require MMR vaccination.

How effective is MMR vaccine against Measles, Mumps, and Rubella?

The full (two doses) course of MMR vaccine offers good protection against measles for 99% of people, against rubella (German measles) for 99% of people and against mumps for 88% of people.

When the measles vaccine was introduced in Ireland in 1985, the number of cases of measles dropped from 10,000 in that year to 201 cases in 1987. Measles is highly infectious and the number of cases of measles and the complications of measles would increase rapidly if people were not given the MMR vaccine.

Who should not get or delay getting the MMR vaccine?

The MMR  vaccine should not be given to anyone who is pregnant.

You should delay getting the vaccine if you :

  • are ill with a fever
  • has had varicella  (Chickenpox) vaccine, within the previous four weeks.
  • are on high dose steroids or is having any treatment with chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • have any illness or disease that weakens  their immune system
  • have had recent blood transfusion or blood products

Where can I get more information of the MMR vaccine?

Measles outbreaks in UK and Europe

Measles rash on face

There has been a surge in the number of cases of Measles emerging in Europe and the UK in early 2024.

Measles can be a serious disease especially for the young, old, and those who are vulnerable to infections.

There is a high probablility of outbbreaks of Measles over the coming months.

Anyone travelling to the UK or Europe should ensure they have been fully vaccinated with 2 doses of MMR.

It is particularly important that Healthcare Students, especially those on clinical placement, are fully immunised against Measles Mumps and Rubella by having 2 doses of MMR.

If you haven't had 2 doses of MMR previously get the vaccine free of charge from UCC Student Health or from your own GP. Watch out for further updates on the situation at this webpage and at

Read more about Measles at:


Image of Mumps showing swelling in the left Parotid gland


Unfortunately, probably due to the "MMR vaccine and Autism" scare in the mid 90’s the uptake of MMR vaccine dropped to level that was inadequate to provide herd immunity, resulting in the re-emergence of Mumps in teenagers and young adults over the past 20 years.

Pre-COVID there was increased MUMPS activity on campuse, with a significant number of cases emerging here in UCC. You can see what Mumps can look like in an adult in an adult male in the photograph at the top of this page. To lessen the chances of this happening to you, or to make any episode that might emerge in you less severe, make sure you have had 2 doses of MMR in your lifetime. 

A number of take home messages:

1. If you believe you might have MUMPS, see a health professional. Do not attend classes, lectures, tutorials or labs. You may infect a number of other people if you are infectious.

2. If you are confirmed as having MUMPS, remain away from campus and preferably remain isolated from others, for whatever period of time the healthcare professional has advised. You may need to advise close contacts that you have contracted Mumps, read the FAQs below for further information.

You are infectious usually from about four days before to five days after facial swelling (The parotid gland sits in front of the ear but when inflamed with Mumps it enlarges and causes a painful visible and palpable swelling in front and often behind the ear, and around the lower jaw bone). The parotid gland may swell on one or both sides of the face (see the photo at the top of this page for an example of marked one sided facial swelling due to Mumps infection). Individuals infected are advised not to attend for 5 days after the first noticed onset of the parotid gland swelling in view of the possibility of transmitting virus to non-immune individuals.

3. Ensure you have had 2 MMR doses in your lifetime. This is the most effective way to protect yourself. It is not 100% effective and you may still contract Mumps occasionally if you are fully vaccinated. The illness imay be milder in those who have been vaccinated. MMR vaccination is available in the  Student Health Department Free of Charge. Walk in and ask.

4. If you have been in close contact (e.g. flat-mate or or shared a tutorial room) with someone who has had MUMPS, you can lessen the chances (or the severity) of contracting Mumps  by getting an MMR vaccine (if you don't already have 2 doses of MMR), even after the contact has occurred. Student Health Department will provide this free of charge. Just tell our staff that you have been in contact with a case of MUMPs and that you need a 1st or 2nd dose of MMR vaccine.

Read the answers to some FAQs here: MUMPSFAQ and check out


Rubella is usually a mild illness with respiratory symptoms and a generalised red rash on your face and body. When contracted by somene who is pregnant however, there are potentiallly serious consequences and impacts on the developing foetus(s)/baby(ies) in the womb. If you are considering becoming pregnant you should ensure you have had 2 doses of MMR. As the MMR is a live vaccine you should not beome pregnant until at least 4 weeks after a dose of the MMR vaccine.

Read more about Rubella at ;


Student Health Department

Seirbhísí Sláinte na Mac Léinn

Student Health Department, Crow's Nest Accommodation Complex, Carrigrohane Road, Cork, T12 HXW4 ,