Vaccine Info

M-M-R II Vaccine

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Last reviewed
February 2, 2024

M-M-R®II Vaccine 2024

Merck's M-M-R® II vaccine is known as the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Virus Vaccine Live, which contains weakened forms of measles, mumps, and rubella. The company says the M-M-R II vaccine (MMRVAXPRO) works by helping the human immune system protect itself from these viruses. The vaccine's active ingredients include weakened measles, mumps, and rubella viruses. The inactive ingredients include sorbitol, sucrose, hydrolyzed gelatin, recombinant human albumin, fetal bovine serum, and other buffer media ingredients.

Clinical studies of 284 triple-seronegative children between 11 months to 7 years of age demonstrated that M-M-R II is highly immunogenic and generally well-tolerated. A single injection of the vaccine-induced measles hemagglutination-inhibition (HI) antibodies in 95% of the participants, mumps-neutralizing antibodies in 96%, and rubella HI antibodies in 99% of susceptible persons in these studies. However, a small percentage (1%-5%) of vaccinees may fail to seroconvert after the primary dose. The most common side effect of vaccination with M-M-R II is pain at the shot site for a short time. Other side effects may include fever or rash. The anatomical therapeutic chemical code is J07BD52.

The M-M-R II vaccine was developed by Maurice Hilleman and was licensed for use by Merck in 1971. On February 1, 2024, Merck confirmed revenue growth of 3% last year for measles containing vaccines was largely due to higher pricing in the U.S.

For 130 years, Merck (known as MSD outside of the US and Canada) has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world's most challenging diseases to pursue their mission to save and improve lives.

M-M-R II Price

The retail price of the M-M-R II is $114, and this vaccine is found in various pharmacies in the USA. Most insurance plans will cover this vaccine; however, some discounts can be found to reduce the cost of the vaccine.

M-M-R II Indication

The M-M-R II vaccine is usually given to people one year or older. However, the M-M-R II vaccine is contraindicated in specific individuals, including those with a history of hypersensitivity to any component of the vaccine, including gelatin; a history of anaphylactic or anaphylactoid reaction to neomycin; blood dyscrasias, leukemia, lymphomas of any type, or other malignant neoplasms affecting the bone marrow or lymphatic systems; primary or acquired immunodeficiency conditions; family history of congenital or hereditary immunodeficiency or receiving immunosuppressive therapy; an active febrile illness; or those who are pregnant.

M-M-R II Pregnant Women

According to the CDC, rubella can cause a miscarriage or serious congenital disabilities in a developing baby if a pregnant woman is infected. Therefore, if MMR vaccination of postpubertal females is undertaken, pregnancy should be avoided for 3 months following immunization. The European Medicines Agency updated M-M-RVAXPRO's product information on July 14, 2021. Pregnant women should not be vaccinated with M-M-RVAXPRO. Studies have not been conducted with M-M-RVAXPRO in pregnant women. Therefore, it is not known whether M-M-RVAXPRO can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity. However, fetal damage has not been documented when measles or mumps vaccines have been given to pregnant women.

M-M-R II Dosage

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the addition of the intramuscular route of administration for M-M-R®II in 2023. The U.S. CDC vaccination schedule was updated in November 2023. The CDC's ACIP committee recommends administering the 1st dose of M-M-R II at 12 to 15 months of age and administering the second dose of M-M-R®II at 4 to 6 years ago.

The M-M-R II vaccine is given as a shot administered subcutaneously, preferably into the arm's outer aspect. The dose of the vaccine is the same for everyone. Before their first birthday, children who received an initial dose of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine should receive additional doses at 12-15 months and six years of age to complete the vaccination series. The 2nd dose is often given right before the child goes to elementary school (4 to 6 years of age). If your child is less than one year old when they first get the shot, a second dose should be given when 12 to 15 months old. If a 3rd vaccination is prescribed, a dose should be given between 4 and 6.

The CDC says 80%-85% of vaccines are protected after a single dose of mumps vaccines. However, because a limited proportion (5%-20%) of measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) or varicella vaccinees fail to respond to 1 dose, a second dose is recommended to provide another opportunity to develop immunity. Of those who do not respond to the first dose of the measles component of MMR or varicella vaccine, 97%-99% respond to a second dose.

M-M-R II Side Effects

Additional M-M-R®II Precautions: Additional adverse reactions, which have been reported without regard to causality, include febrile convulsions, arthritis, thrombocytopenia, anaphylaxis, anaphylactoid reactions, arthritis, encephalitis and encephalopathy in their diverse clinical presentations. MMR II vaccine has been linked with a minimal risk of febrile seizures (seizures or jerking caused by fever). Febrile seizures following MMR are rare and not associated with long-term effects. However, because the risk of febrile seizures increases as infants get older, it is recommended that they get vaccinated as soon as possible, says the CDC.

Some people may experience swelling in the cheeks or neck. MMR vaccine rarely causes a temporary low platelet count, which can cause a bleeding disorder that usually goes away without treatment and is not life-threatening. Extremely rarely, a person may have a serious allergic reaction to the MMR vaccine. Anyone who has ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to the antibiotic neomycin or any other component of the MMR vaccine should not get the vaccine. M-M-R II vaccination may result in a temporary depression of purified protein derivative tuberculin skin sensitivity, says the US FDA.

VAERS is a passive reporting system, meaning it relies on individuals to send in reports of their experiences. However, anyone, including parents and patients, can submit a report to VAERS.

M-M-R II Vaccine News

November 16, 2023 - The U.S. CDC published an updated - Child and Adolescent Immunization Schedule by Age.

February 10, 2023 - To prevent a resurgence of measles and other vaccine-preventable severe diseases, the WHO calls for urgent action in all countries to identify all those, especially children, who have missed (MMR) vaccinations and to devise strategies to enable them to catch up. 

July 28, 2022 - Merck & Co. announced Proquad, M-M-R II, and Varivax sales increased 12% over the second quarter of last year.

February 23, 2022 - Ms. Lynn Bahta, Work Group Chair, CDC's ACIP - presented MMR vaccination in the United States.

January 27, 2022 - The peer-reviewed journal Lancet published a Summary that concluded: The low case numbers reported in 2020, after a worldwide resurgence of measles between 2017 and 2019, must be interpreted cautiously, owing to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on disease surveillance.

December 23, 2021 - The journal Vaccine published this study. This study investigated whether the accelerated schedule of MMR2 leads to a change in coverage of MMR2 and other childhood vaccines with an ecological study using childhood immunization data from 2009 to 2018 in London. Earlier vaccination of MMR2 is associated with significantly higher coverage at five years for this vaccine in London. Further research is needed to assess the association at a more granular level, but our findings underline a potential opportunity to increase MMR coverage.

Measles, Mumps, and Rubella FAQs

Ask the Experts at Immuninize Action Coalition 

M-M-R II Vaccine Clinical Trials

Merck's MMR vaccine has been involved in many successful clinical trials.