Measles virus vaccine Side Effects
Applies to measles virus vaccine: subcutaneous powder for injection
Musculoskeletal side effects have included arthralgia and/or arthritis (usually transient and rarely chronic), polyneuritis, myalgia, paresthesia, and rarely chronic arthritis; these symptoms may also occur with natural rubella.[Ref]
Nervous system side effects have included measles inclusion body encephalitis (MIBE), encephalopathy, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), febrile convulsions, afebrile convulsions or seizures, ataxia, and ocular palsies.[Ref]
Significant central nervous system reactions such as encephalitis and encephalopathy have been very rarely temporally associated with measles vaccine (occurring within 30 days after vaccination); however, causality has not been determined in any case. A certain number of encephalitis cases unrelated to vaccines is expected to occur in a large childhood population; however, there is the possibility that some of these cases may have been caused by measles vaccine. The risk of measles vaccine-associated serious neurological disorders is much smaller than the risk for encephalitis and encephalopathy due to natural measles.
Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) has been very rarely reported in children after measles vaccination. Some of these cases may have been due to unrecognized measles during the first year of life or possibly due to the measles vaccination. The results of a retrospective case-controlled study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that measles vaccine has had the overall effect of protecting against SSPE by preventing measles with its greater risk of SSPE.[Ref]
Respiratory side effects have included pneumonitis, cough, and rhinitis.[Ref]
A postmarketing surveillance study of measles/mumps/rubella vaccine in Finland during 1982 to 1993 with 1.5 million pediatric and adult vaccinees reported no deaths or permanent sequelae.[Ref]
Other side effects have included panniculitis, atypical measles, fever, syncope, headache, dizziness, malaise, and irritability. Fatalities have been reported with the polyvalent measles/mumps/rubella vaccine; however, causality has not been determined.
Health care providers should report any allergic or unusual adverse reactions to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) at 1-800-822-7967 (USA) and the manufacturer.[Ref]
1. "Product Information. Attenuvax (measles virus vaccine, live, attenuated)." Merck & Co, Inc, West Point, PA.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.