Elimination of rubella and congenital rubella syndrome--United States, 1969-2004

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2005 Mar 25;54(11):279-82.


In October 2004, CDC convened an independent panel of internationally recognized authorities on public health, infectious disease, and immunization to assess progress toward elimination of rubella and congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) in the United States, a national health objective for 2010. Since rubella vaccine licensure in 1969, substantial declines in rubella and CRS have occurred, and the absence of endemic transmission in the United States is supported by recent data: 1) fewer than 25 reported rubella cases each year since 2001, 2) at least 95% vaccination coverage among school-aged children, 3) estimated 91% population immunity, 4) adequate surveillance to detect rubella outbreaks, and 5) a pattern of virus genotypes consistent with virus originating in other parts of the world. Given the available data, panel members concluded unanimously that rubella is no longer endemic in the United States. This report summarizes the history and accomplishments of the rubella vaccination program in the United States and the Western Hemisphere and the challenges posed by rubella for the future.

MeSH terms

  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Rubella / epidemiology*
  • Rubella / prevention & control*
  • Rubella Syndrome, Congenital / epidemiology*
  • Rubella Syndrome, Congenital / prevention & control*
  • Rubella Vaccine / administration & dosage
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vaccination / statistics & numerical data


  • Rubella Vaccine