MMR Vaccine

MMR vaccines are recommended for all children to prevent measles, mumps, and rubella. The most common immunization is the M-M-R II® vaccine manufactured by Merck & Co.

What is the MMR vaccine?

M-M-R II® is an immunization against three bacterial diseases: measles, mumps, and rubella. It is a live virus vaccine that contains weakened forms of the measles virus, mumps virus, and rubella virus.

How is the MMR vaccine given?

The MMR vaccine is given as a shot to people 12 months and older. If your child gets the shot when he or she is 12 months old, the second shot is usually given right before he or she goes to elementary school (4 to 6 years old).

If your child gets the shot when he or she is less than 12 months old, a second shot should be given when they are 12-15 months old, and a third shot between 4 and 6 years of age.

Who should NOT get the MMR vaccine?

Do not get M-M-R II if you or your child:

  • Pregnant
  • Plan to become pregnant within the next three months
  • Are allergic to any ingredient in the vaccine, including gelatin or eggs
  • Have a weakened immune system, immune deficiency, inherited immune disorder, leukemia, lymphoma, or HIV/AIDS
  • Take high doses of steroids by mouth or in a shot
  • Have a fever higher than 101.3ºF

What are the most common side effects of the MMR vaccine?

The most common side effects of vaccination with M-M-R-II is burning and stinging where the shot was injected. Other side effects may include:

  • Fever
  • Rash

Less common side effects may include:

  • Swelling of the testicles
  • Joint pain and/or swelling

What are severe side effects of the MMR vaccine?

Some side effects of the MMR vaccine are rare but very serious, such as allergic reactions. You should call your healthcare provider immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Breathing problems, wheezing, hives, skin rash
  • Bleeding or bruising under the skin
  • Seizures
  • Severe headache
  • Change in behavior or level or consciousness

What MMR vaccine side effects have been reported?

The following is a list of side effects that have been reported in patients who received MMR vaccines:

  • Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM)
  • Allergic reaction
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Angioedema
  • Arthritis
  • Ataxia
  • Atypical measles
  • Bronchial spasm
  • Convulsions
  • Death
  • Deafness
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Ear infection (otitis meida)
  • Encephalitis
  • Encephalopathy
  • Epididymitis
  • Erythema multiforme
  • Facial swelling
  • Febrile seizures (high fever causing seizure)
  • Fever
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)
  • Headache
  • Irritability
  • Leukocytosis
  • Lymphadenopathy (enlarged lymph nodes)
  • Malaise
  • Measles inclusion body encephalitis (MIBE)
  • Meningitis
  • Nausea
  • Neurological disorders
  • Ocular palsies
  • Optic neuritis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Panniculitis
  • Papillitis
  • Paresthesia
  • Parotitis
  • Pneumonia and pneumonitis
  • Polyneuritis
  • Polyneuropathy
  • Purpura
  • Rash (measles-like rash)
  • Retinitis
  • Seizures
  • Sore throat
  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS)
  • Syncope (fainting)
  • Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE)
  • Thrombocytopenia
  • Transverse myelitis
  • Vasculitis
  • Vomiting

What ingredients are in the MMR vaccine?

Active ingredients: Weakened forms of the live viruses that cause measles, mumps, and rubella.

Inactive ingredients: Sorbitol (14.5mg), sodium phosphate, potassium phophosphate, sucrose (1.9 mg), sodium chloride, hydrolyzed gelatin (14.5 mg), recombinant human albumin, fetal bovine serum, other buffer and media ingredients, neomycin (25 mcg).

M-M-R II does not contain preservatives or thimerosal.

Where can I get more information?

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