Rubella vaccine

Information about rubella vaccines, who it is recommended for, how and where to get vaccination. If you're eligible, you can get the rubella vaccine for free under the National Immunisation Program.

Rubella is a viral infection that causes fever and a rash. It is a very serious disease for pregnant women because it can cause severe harm to unborn babies.

Vaccination is a safe and effective way to protect you from rubella.

Who should get vaccinated against rubella

Anyone who wants to protect themselves against rubella can talk to their vaccination provider about getting vaccinated.

The Australian Immunisation Handbook recommends rubella vaccination for specific groups including:

  • children aged 12 months and older
  • adolescents and adults born during or since 1966 who have not received 2 doses of rubella-containing vaccine, particularly
    • healthcare workers
    • childhood educators and carers
    • women of child-bearing age if they are not immune

Rubella combination vaccine is free under the National Immunisation Program for children children aged 12 months and 18 months.

Eligible people under 20 years old and refugees and other humanitarian entrants of any age can get a free catch-up vaccination. This is if they did not receive the vaccines in childhood and it is recommended to receive the vaccine.

Rubella vaccines should not be given to:

  • people who have had anaphylaxis after a previous dose of any rubella containing vaccine or anaphylaxis after any component of a rubella containing vaccine.
  • pregnant women
  • people who are immunocompromised.

Note rubella vaccines contain a small amount of the live virus. Some people may not be able to receive a live vaccine for medical reasons. Discuss with your GP or other vaccination provider for further information.

Read more about getting vaccinated.

How to get vaccinated against rubella

Rubella vaccines come only as a combination vaccine that also protects against measles and mumps (MMR) or measles, mumps and varicella (MMRV).

Rubella vaccines include:

* Indicates National Immunisation Program vaccine.

Your vaccination provider can tell you which vaccine they will use for your rubella vaccination.

Find product information and consumer medicine information for each available vaccine from the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

Where to get vaccinated

You can get your vaccine from a range of vaccination providers. Find out more about your vaccination visit at getting vaccinated.

Possible side effects of rubella vaccination

You may experience minor side effects following vaccination. Most reactions are mild and last no more than a couple of days and you will recover without any problems.

Common side effects of rubella vaccines include:

  • occasionally an injection-site lump (may last many weeks - no treatment needed)

Seen 7–10 days after vaccination:

  • fever lasting 2–3 days, faint red rash (not infectious), head cold and/or runny nose, cough and/or puffy eyes
  • drowsiness or tiredness
  • swelling of salivary glands.

Talk to your vaccination provider about possible side effects of rubella vaccines, or if you or your child have possible side effects that worry you.

The Consumer Medicine Information available on the Therapeutic Goods Administration website lists the ingredients and side effects of each vaccine.

Learn more about the possible side effects of vaccination.

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