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July 6, 1970

Medical News

JAMA. 1970;213(1):23-32. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170270005001

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Fears about rubella vaccine fade after the first year  Experience with 13 million US vaccinations shows transient arthralgia is the only significant side effect—and that the risks of reinfection and transmissions of virus by vaccinees are very slightOne year after initial licensing, rubella vaccine has been safely administered to approximately 13 million Americans, according to the latest figures available from the National Communicable Disease Center (NCDC) in Atlanta.The only significant side-effect noted consistently so far has been transient arthralgia or arthritis, said John J. Witte, MD, chief of the Field Service Branch of the NCDC's Epidemiology Program.Speaking to the Section on Preventive Medicine, Dr. Witte reported that susceptible women sometimes develop joint reactions similar to those of natural rubella. The incidence of arthralgia may also be as high as 5% among children receiving the vaccine. "Symptoms most commonly involve the small joints of the hands and