Vaccine Info

M-M-R II Vaccine

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Last reviewed
March 6, 2023

M-M-R®II Vaccine 2023

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 M-M-R II vaccine (Priorix, MMRVAXPRO) works by helping the human immune system protect itself from these viruses, says the company. 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: J07BD52.

As of April 2022, the WHO agencies report 21 large and disruptive measles outbreaks worldwide in the last 12 months. Most measles cases were reported in Africa and the East Mediterranean region. Almost 17,300 measles cases were reported in January and February 2022, compared to 9,665 during the first two months of 2021.

The M-M-R II vaccine was developed by Maurice Hilleman and was licensed for use by Merck in 1971. 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, there are discounts that 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 of age 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.

According to the US 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 33 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 March 2023

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the addition of the intramuscular route of administration for M-M-R®II on March 6, 2023. The CDC vaccination schedule was updated on February 2023. The US 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 of age and a-6 years of age to complete the vaccination series. Often, the 2nd dose is 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 recommended, 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 can submit a report to VAERS, including parents and patients.

Measles & Rubella Elimination Strategic Plans

The WHO published its MEASLES OUTBREAKS STRATEGIC RESPONSE PLAN for 2021-2023. In addition, the WHO published a strategic response plan for 2021–2023: measles outbreak prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery. In addition, the Measles & Rubella Initiative supports timplementingthe Measles & Rubella Strategic Framework 2021-2030 was released in February 2021. As of February 11, 2022, the U.S. CDC reported that 173 (89%) of 194 countries had introduced RCVs, and 93 (48%) had been verified to have eliminated rubella transmission as of 2020.

M-M-R II Vaccine News 2023

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. 

February 2023 - Jefferson County Public Schools in Kentucky has been conducting MMR vaccination clinics at schools for about 10,000 unvaccinated students.

August 12, 2022 - Dr. Mark Muscat, technical officer at the WHO Regional Office for Europe, discusses the need to continue the elimination drive by ensuring at least 95% uptake of rubella vaccines

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

July 19, 2022 - The WHO reported 59,662 measles cases in Afghanistan during the first six months of 2022.

April 27, 2022 - The WHO reported, “Measles is more than a dangerous and potentially deadly disease. It is also an early indication that there are gaps in our global immunization coverage, gaps vulnerable children cannot afford,” said Catherine Russell, UNICEF Executive Director. “It is encouraging that people in many communities are beginning to feel protected enough from COVID-19 to return to more social activities. But doing so in places where children are not receiving routine vaccination creates the perfect storm for spreading a disease like measles.”  

April 14, 2022 - According to data from 2018, only six countries (Croatia, Hungary, Iceland, Portugal, Slovakia, and Sweden) report two-dose measles vaccine coverage of 95% or higher, suggesting that elimination of measles in the EU is uncertain, researchers say.

March 4, 2022 - Africa's ongoing measles outbreak impacts various countries. In response, the U.S. CDC issued a Level 1 Travel Advisory saying, 'travelers to Africa, including infants and pre-school aged children, should be fully vaccinated against measles, according to CDC immunization schedules.'

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

February 11, 2022 - The CDC's new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report confirmed that 21 countries should introduce rubella vaccination coverage and surveillance to achieve and maintain elimination.

February 5, 2022 - The WHO confirmed an early warning, alert, and response network (EWARN) detected increased measles cases in the Albad district in northwest Syria. As of January 2022, there were 240 suspected cases and two associated deaths (case-fatality ratio of 0.4%). Regarding the vaccination status, 66% of patients reported not receiving any measles-containing vaccine dose, while 15% had one and 15% had two doses.

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.

January 20, 2022 - The Freedom of Information request on adverse reactions associated with the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella vaccine (FOI 21/817) was published. The U.K.'s MHRA had received 7,491 spontaneous suspected reports with the administration of the MMR vaccine up to and including 25/06/2021. It is important to note that the MMR vaccine is given alongside other vaccines in the UK as part of the routine childhood immunization schedule. 

December 23, 2021 - This study was published by the journal Vaccine. In 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.

December 15, 2021 - GAVI reported Pakistan recently undertook one of its biggest-ever vaccination campaigns: 90 million measles and rubella vaccine doses were administered to 90 million children in just two weeks.

December 4, 2021 - VOA reported that 79 of Cameroon's 190 district hospitals were affected by measles epidemics in 2020, with about 1,500 confirmed measles infections. The country's Public Health Ministry says 74% of the confirmed cases were in people who were not vaccinated.

November 10, 2021 - The U.S. CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report dated Nov. 12 stated 'Since 2000, estimated measles deaths decreased 94%. And measles vaccination has prevented an estimated 31.7 million deaths worldwide. However, no WHO region has achieved and maintained measles elimination.

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 over the years.