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Mmrv Vaccine for Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jul 4, 2022.

What do I need to know about the MMRV vaccine?

The MMRV vaccine is an injection given to help prevent measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (chickenpox). These diseases are caused by viruses that spread easily from person to person. The MMRV vaccine is given to children 12 months through 12 years of age. It may be given with other vaccines, if they are not live vaccines.

When should my child get the MMRV vaccine?

Your child should receive 2 doses:

  • The first dose is given at 12 through 15 months.
  • The second dose is usually given at 4 through 6 years. It may be given 3 months after the first, if necessary.
Recommended MMRV Immunization Schedule

What are reasons my child should not get the MMRV vaccine?

Your child should not get the vaccine if:

  • He or she had an allergic reaction to gelatin or neomycin.
  • He or she had an allergic reaction to any measles, mumps, rubella, or varicella vaccine, or any part of the vaccine.
  • He or she has a blood or bone marrow disorder, such as leukemia or lymphoma.
  • He or she currently uses a medicine that weakens the immune system, such as steroids.

What are reasons my child should wait to get the MMRV vaccine?

Your child may need to wait to get MMRV, or instead get separate measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccines. Tell the provider if:

  • He or she is sick or has a fever over 101.3°F (38.5°C).
  • He or she received other live vaccines within the past 4 weeks.
  • He or she has any life-threatening allergies.
  • He or she takes antiviral medicine, such as acyclovir or valacyclovir.
  • He or she has a disease or a family history of a disease that weakens the immune system.
  • He or she has a history of seizures, or a parent, brother, or sister who has a history of seizures.
  • He or she has a condition that causes him or her to bleed easily.
  • He or she currently uses or soon plans to use a salicylate medicine, such as aspirin.
  • He or she had a blood transfusion in the last 3 to 11 months.
  • She is pregnant or thinks she may be pregnant.

What are the risks of the MMRV vaccine?

Your child's joints may become painful and swollen. He or she may develop a fever, mild rash, or swollen neck or cheek glands. Your child may have an allergic reaction to the vaccine. The vaccine may cause pneumonia or swelling of the brain and spinal cord. It may also cause a low platelet count, which can lead to life-threatening internal bleeding. Your child may have a seizure, usually from a fever. This is more likely if he or she gets MMRV as the first dose in the series.

What safety precautions are needed after a varicella vaccine?

  • Do not give aspirin for 6 weeks after a dose of MMRV or separate varicella vaccine. Aspirin and other salicylate medicines increase the risk for a serious condition called Reye syndrome after a varicella vaccine. Talk to your child's healthcare providers about safe medicines if needed to control a health condition.
  • If your child develops a rash, do not let him or her near anyone who is not protected against varicella. A rash is a sign that the varicella virus can be spread. Your child's healthcare provider can tell you when your child will no longer be able to spread the varicella virus. This is usually after the rash goes away.

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • Your child's mouth and throat are swollen.
  • Your child is wheezing or has trouble breathing.
  • Your child has chest pain or his or her heart is beating faster than usual.
  • Your child feels like he or she is going to faint.
  • Your child has a seizure.

When should I seek immediate care?

  • Your child's face is red or swollen.
  • Your child has hives that spread over his or her body.

When should I call my child's doctor?

  • Your child feels weak or dizzy.
  • Your child has a fever or chills.
  • Your child has swollen lymph glands in his or her cheeks or neck.
  • Your child's joints are painful and swollen.
  • Your child has increased pain, redness, or swelling around the area where the shot was given.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or the MMRV vaccine.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

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