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JAMA. 1981 Sep 25;246(13):1413-7.

Fetal risk associated with rubella vaccine.


Ninety-four susceptible women received either Cendehill or HPV-77 rubella vaccine. All gave birth to healthy infants. Seventeen susceptible women received the RA 27/3 vaccine. All their infants were free of abnormalities compatible with congenital rubella, as were 54 born to mothers of unknown immune status at the time of RA 27/3 vaccination and those later found to be immune. An additional susceptible woman received an unknown strain of vaccine; she also had a healthy infant. The risk of severe congenital malformations after rubella vaccination is low. In our 112 cases, the maximum risk was approximately 3%. Concern about the potential adverse effects of rubella vaccine on the fetus should not interfere with vaccination of women of childbearing age. However, since the actual risk may not be zero, women known to be pregnant should not be vaccinated, and conception should be avoided for three months after vaccination.

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