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Measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (MMRV) vaccine

Generic name: measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (MMRV) vaccine [ MEE-zels, MUMPS, roo-BEL-a, var-i-SEL-a ]
Brand name: ProQuad
Dosage form: injectable powder for injection (-)
Drug class: Vaccine combinations

Medically reviewed by on Sep 5, 2023. Written by Cerner Multum.

What is measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella virus vaccine?

Measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella are serious diseases caused by viruses spread from person to person.

Becoming infected with rubella virus (also called German Measles) during pregnancy can result in a miscarriage or serious birth defects.

The measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (MMRV) vaccine is used to help prevent these diseases in children. This vaccine causes your body to develop immunity to the disease. This vaccine will not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body.

MMRV vaccine is for use in children between the ages of 12 months and 12 years old.

Like any vaccine, the MMRV vaccine may not provide protection from disease in every person.

This vaccine side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).

Your child should not receive a booster vaccine if he or she had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.

Keep track of any and all side effects your child has after receiving this vaccine. If the child ever needs to receive a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shots caused any side effects.

Call the doctor at once if your child has any of these serious side effects:

  • a high fever;

  • walking problems;

  • seizures;

  • severe skin problems or skin infection;

  • fever, chills, cough with mucus, chest pain, feeling short of breath;

  • stiff neck, light sensitivity;

  • confusion; or

  • easy bruising, purple or red spots under your skin.

Common side effects of measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (MMRV) vaccine may include:

  • pain, tenderness, soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given;

  • fever;

  • rash that looks like chickenpox; or

  • irritability.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report vaccine side effects to the US Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-822-7967.


Your child should not receive a booster vaccine if he or she had a life threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.

Before taking this medicine

Your child should not receive this vaccine if he or she is allergic to gelatin or neomycin, or if he or she has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to any vaccine containing measles, mumps, rubella, or varicella.

Your child should also not receive this vaccine if he or she has:

  • fever;

  • active tuberculosis that is not being treated;

  • a weak immune system (caused by disease or by using certain medicine); or

  • if she is pregnant or plan to become pregnant in the next 3 months.

Tell your doctor if your child has:

  • allergy to eggs;

  • a family member with a weak immune system;

  • any medical problems;

  • a history of seizures or a family history of seizures;

  • recently had a blood transfusion or has received an immune globulin or other blood products;

  • any allergies;

  • had an allergic reaction to any other vaccine; or

  • has or had a low blood platelet count.

Although MMRV vaccine is normally given only to children, a pregnant woman should not receive this vaccine because it may cause birth defects. Any female receiving MMRV vaccine should not get pregnant for 3 months after getting the vaccine.

Ask a doctor if it is safe to breastfeed while using measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (MMRV) vaccine.

How is this vaccine given?

This vaccine is given in the arm or thigh. Your child will receive this injection in a doctor's office, clinic setting, or pharmacy.

MMRV vaccine is usually given only once when the child is 12 to 15 month old. A booster dose may be given between 4 and 6 years of age.

If your child has received any other measles vaccine, at least 1 month should pass between that vaccine and the MMRV vaccine.

If your child has received any other varicella vaccine, at least 3 months should pass between that vaccine and the MMRV vaccine.

Your child's booster schedule may be different from these guidelines. Follow the doctor's instructions or the schedule recommended by your local health department.

This vaccine can cause false results on a skin test for tuberculosis for up to 6 weeks. Tell any doctor who treats your child if he or she has received an MMRV vaccine within the past 4 to 6 weeks.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Be sure your child receives all recommended doses of this vaccine, or the child may not be fully protected against disease.

What happens if I overdose?

An overdose of this vaccine is unlikely to occur.

What should I avoid before or after receiving this vaccine?

For 6 weeks after receiving MMRV vaccine:

  • Do not give your child salicylate medicine (such as aspirin, Kaopectate, Pepto-Bismol, and others). A serious condition called Reye's Syndrome has been reported in patients with chickenpox who take aspirin or salicylates.

  • Your child should avoid coming into contact with anyone who could easily get infected with chickenpox. This may include newborn infants, pregnant women who have never had chickenpox, and anyone who has a weak immune system. MMRV vaccine may not cause your child to have symptoms of chickenpox. However, there is a chance that varicella virus could be passed from a recently vaccinated child to anyone who may be susceptible to chickenpox.

What other drugs will affect this vaccine?

MMRV vaccine is sometimes given at the same time as other vaccines. Before receiving this vaccine, tell the doctor about all other vaccines your child has recently received.

Also tell the doctor if your child has recently received drugs or treatments that can weaken the immune system, including:

If your child is receiving any of these medications, he or she may not be able to receive the vaccine, or may need to wait until the other treatments are finished.

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect MMRV vaccine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

  • Your vaccination provider, pharmacist, or doctor can provide more information about this vaccine. Additional information is available from your local health department or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.