Rubella Vaccine in Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
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Vaccine, Rubella (MERUVAX®II)
Live attenuated virus vaccine.

In a 10-year survey involving over 700 pregnant women who received rubella vaccine within 3 months before or after conception, (of whom 189 received the Wistar RA 27/3 strain) none of the newborns had abnormalities compatible with congenital rubella syndrome. Nonetheless women should be counseled to avoid becoming pregnant for 28 days after exposure to rubella-containing vaccines [1,2,6].

BREAST FEEDING: Excreted into human milk. Recent studies have shown that lactating postpartum women immunized with live attenuated rubella vaccine may secrete the virus in breast milk and transmit it to breast-fed infants. In the infants with serological evidence of rubella infection, none exhibited severe disease; however, one exhibited mild clinical illness typical of acquired rubella. Caution should be exercised when MERUVAX II is administered to a nursing woman [3]. Compatible with breastfeeding [4,5].


1.Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Measles, Mumps, and Rubella — Vaccine Use and Strategies for Elimination of Measles, Rubella, and Congenital Rubella Syndrome and Control of Mumps: Recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP). MMWR 47 (No. RR-8): 32-33, 1998.
2. Revised ACIP Recommendation for Avoiding Pregnancy After Receiving a Rubella-Containing Vaccine
MMWR 50(49);1117, 2001
3.MeruvaxII® vaccine package insert, 2001.
4. Immunization: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR 43 (No. RR-1): 20-21, 1994.
5.Breastfeeding and Maternal Medication. Recommendations for Drugs in the Eleventh WHO Model list of Essential Drugs. pp 23-24 World Health Organization, 2002. 20 Avenue Appia ,1211 Geneva ,Switzerland
(PDF file)

6. Rubella vaccination during pregnancy United States, 1971-1981, MMWR 31(35): 477-481, September 10, 1982.

 Created: 11/27/2002
 Last Update: 11/30/2003
 Last Update: 1/3/2009

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