Skip all navigation Skip to page navigation

DHHS Home | A-Z Site Map | Divisions | About Us | Contacts |

NC Department of Health and Human Services
Women's and Children's Health Home
N.C. Public Health Home
North Carolina Immunization Branch

Vaccine Preventable Diseases


The Disease

Measles is a respiratory disease caused by a virus. The disease of measles and the virus that causes it share the same name. The disease is also called rubeola. Measles virus normally grows in the cells that line the back of the throat and lungs.

The Vaccine

Measles vaccine is administered through the combination MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) or by the MMRV (measles, mumps, rubella and varicella) vaccine.

Who Should get Vaccinated?

Children should be given the first dose of MMR vaccine soon after the first birthday (12 to 15 months of age). The second dose is recommended before the start of the kindergarten.

North Carolina Requirements

Two doses at least 28 days apart. One dose on or after 12 months of age and before 16 months of age, and a second dose before entering school for the first time. The requirement for a second dose does not apply to individuals who entered school, college or university for the first time before July 1, 1994.

A person who has been diagnosed prior to January 1, 1994 by a physician (or designee such as a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant) as having measles (rubeola) or an individual who has been documented by serological testing to have a protective antibody titer against measles is not required to receive measles vaccine. Individuals born before 1957 are not required to receive measles vaccine except in measles outbreak situations.

Additional Resources



Updated: September 11, 2019