Rubella Vaccines possibly linked to acute arthritis in 13 to 15% of women

January 13, 2015

Editors note: Requested Peer reviewed citations from earlier studies:

Evidence Concerning Rubella Vaccines and Arthritis, Radiculoneuritis, and Thrombocytopenic Purpura


Institute of Medicine (US) Committee to Review the Adverse Consequences of Pertussis and Rubella Vaccines; Howson CP, Howe CJ, Fineberg HV, editors.

Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1991.


The evidence indicates a causal relation between the currently used rubella vaccine strain (RA 27/3) and acute arthritis. Incidence rates are estimated to average 13 to 15 percent among adult women following RA 27/3 immunization with much lower levels noted among children, adolescents, and adult men.

The evidence is consistent with a causal relation between the currently used rubella vaccine strain (RA 27/3) and chronic arthritis in adult women, although the evidence is limited in scope and confined to reports from one institution.2 Prospective, double-masked, controlled trials in which subjects are followed for at least 12 months after rubella vaccination are needed to establish this biologically plausible relation. Additional elements of a definitive study would include attempts to isolate rubella virus from the synovial fluid of affected joints of cases of arthropathy and arthritis and molecular-genetic analysis to determine whether the isolated strain is the one that was injected, a strain derived from the injected strain, or an unrelated strain.


Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2001 Nov-Dec;19(6):724-6.

Rubella vaccine and arthritic adverse reactions: an analysis of the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database from 1991 through 1998.

Geier DA1, Geier MR.



The United States Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine (IOM) reported in 1991 that the evidence indicates a causal relationship between the currently used rubella vaccine and acute and chronic arthritis. The purpose of this study was to analyze the associated arthritic reactions reported following rubella immunization from 1991 through 1998 to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database.

Read More: ClinicalNews.Org

Categories: Lethal or Unintended Side Effects, Vaccine

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