In a double-blind historical cohort study, 485 underimmune women who received rubella vaccine post-partum during 1985-1990 and 493 controls matched for age, place of residence and date of delivery were queried by phone concerning joint complaints following the pregnancy in question. Those reporting joint symptoms were invited for a personal interview at which joint symptoms and dates of their occurrence were explored in detail. Nineteen women in the vaccinated group (3.9%) and 16 from the control group (3.2%) were judged to have had joint symptoms compatible with the study definition of arthritis. The difference was not statistically significant. Thus, we were unable to find evidence for an association between rubella vaccination of underimmune adult women vaccinated post-partum and the subsequent development of arthritis. Rubella vaccine should continue to be used to immunize susceptible adult women against rubella in order to further the goal of elimination of the congenital rubella syndrome.
- Rubella vaccination