MMR didn't take


I had 2 doses of the MMR vaccine. I also had it as a child. The rubella is still showing that I am not immune. Rubella is the only thing I need to build antibodies to before my nursing program starts in August. I waited 8 weeks instead of 4-6 weeks for the vaccine to fully take and it still didn't. My doctor ordered another dose of the MMR vaccine which I am going to get and try again.

Has any one else had this problem? Did your school still allow you to go through with the program?

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hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

4 Articles; 4,721 Posts

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 21 years experience.

Yes I have this same problem.

When I went back for my BSN I had to show immunity for several contagious diseases. My titer's came back as not immune to rubella. I had a second series of immunizations (I am 54) and waited 6 weeks to have titer's drawn again. The rubella titer still sowed as not immune. My physician gave me one more shot then wrote a letter documenting my vaccination history and the fact that while I was not immune I had not contracted rubella in the 30 years prior to this testing. The school accepted this and I went on to the program.


HeySis, BSN, RN

435 Posts

Specializes in PACU. Has 25 years experience.

I've had this also, my NP states that I probably have some sort of natural immunity that is counter acting the immunization and making it so it doesn't show. She wrote a note after several boosters so I didn't have to go through the rig-a-ma-roll again. After years I lost the letter and went to a new employer, redid the titer and the booster, then they said they would re titer and take what ever it was as my baseline.


19 Posts

Thank you for replying! That makes me feel better. I'll probably have to do the same thing.

I have another question if y'all don't mind,

Have you ever used the NCLEX study guide book? I'm looking to buy one off Amazon and was wondering if they change a lot from one year to the next. The 2015-2016 book is only $5 and the 2016-2017 is $27. How much can it actually change??

Specializes in Psychiatry, Community, Nurse Manager, hospice. Has 7 years experience.

I did not develop immunity to hep B after a normal series. The next step was to get a 4th booster and redraw titers. My doc also tested me for antigens and that came out negative. The 4th booster did it and now I have immunity.

In my school, you did not have to be immune to go to clinical. You just needed to be up to date with whatever booster was due.

As far as NCLEX study, the NCLEX does not change every year. But it is rewritten every so often. You need to figure out when the next rewrite will happen and if it will occur before you test. Don't buy a book if you will be testing after a rewrite.

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 11 years experience.

Make sure they are doing the right test. I had an instructor that shared an anecdote about an IgM being done and needing and IgG to show immunity with a titer. Same thing happened to me. They did the wrong test and I had to have the vax again. When my I discovered it and told my doctor's office, they redid the titer properly and did not charge me for any of them (they are expensive!!). I had one of the MMR series, so I have this affidavit on file so that when I need proof of immunity, I have all the documents.

Double check what test they did (I may have gotten the two tests done, but one tells if you have the disease and one tells if you are immune)

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llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 46 years experience.

It took me a couple of decades and about half a dozen doses to get a positive rubella titer. I got some of the very first vaccine back in the 1970's when I was in high school ... and then subsequent doses each time I went to a new school or changed jobs. I'd get another dose and the school/employer always accepted it. But my titers would still come back negative. Finally, at the age of 42, when I took my current job, I got a positive titer. Some people just don't show positive titers on that one.


359 Posts

With any vaccination, a certain subset of the population will not seroconvert even with additional doses. Immunizations cannot provide immunity to every single person which is why we rely on herd immunity to limit the spread of infections diseases. Your nursing program will need to make some accommodation for this fact of biology. Generally, if you can show you have had the recommended series of immunizations and possibly have attempted a booster, you should be ok.