Combined MMRV vaccine shows slight rise in adverse events

June 9, 2014, Canadian Medical Association Journal

The combined measles–mumps–rubella–varicella (MMRV) vaccine shows a slightly increased risk of febrile seizures in children, compared with the previously separate vaccines for MMR and varicella (chickenpox) (MMR+V), according to an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

The MMRV vaccine was developed for to reduce the number of needles they receive. However, the combined vaccine has been associated with slightly higher rates of .

Febrile seizures can accompany high fever in young ; although distressing, they are not associated with ongoing health issues.

"Combining MMR and varicella into a single vaccine decreases pain for children and distress for parents, thus addressing common barriers to vaccine uptake, and may improve vaccination coverage levels and decrease immunization delivery costs," writes Dr. Shannon MacDonald, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary.

"Febrile seizures are typically self-limiting and rarely have long-term effects, but they can be extremely distressing for parents, may precipitate acute care visits and may undermine confidence in immunization programs."

To determine whether there is an increased risk of febrile seizures from the combined vaccine, researchers looked at data on 227 774 children aged 12 to 23 months who received either the MMR+V or the MMRV vaccine between 2006 and 2012 in Alberta, Canada.

The researchers found a slight increase in the relative risk of febrile seizure with the MMRV vaccine compared with the MMR+V vaccine—about 1 excess seizure for every 2841 doses administered in the 7- to 10-day period after vaccination. Although this rate is double that for the MMR+V vaccine, the absolute risk is relatively small. The researchers suggest counselling parents about the risk of fever and to use children's fever medication to alleviate symptoms.

Two versions of MMRV are used in North America. Canada uses the Priorix-Tetra formulation, as does Australia, Italy and Germany; the United States uses ProQuad. Priorix-Tetra is also approved for use in many member states of the European Union.

This study's findings are consistent with the results of a study of the US version of the vaccine.

"It is a matter for debate whether the choice of separate versus combination is a policy decision or a choice for parents to make in consultation with their vaccination provider," the authors conclude.

Explore further: Study finds earlier is better for measles immunization first dose

More information: Paper: www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.140078

Related Stories

Study finds earlier is better for measles immunization first dose

October 14, 2013
Children receiving measles-containing vaccines at 12-15 months of age have a lower increased risk of fever and seizures than those who receive them at 16-23 months of age, according to a new Kaiser Permanente study published ...

Measles-containing vaccines not linked with increased risk of febrile seizures in kids 4-6

April 2, 2012
Vaccines for measles were not associated with an increased risk of febrile seizures among 4-6 year olds during the six weeks after vaccination, according to a study by the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center that appears ...

Delaying measles-related vaccines may raise seizure risk

May 19, 2014
(HealthDay)—Delaying certain routine immunizations past the first 15 months of life could boost the risk of fever-related seizures, new research suggests.

MMR vaccine linked to lower rate of infection-related hospital admissions

February 25, 2014
In a nationwide group of Danish children, receipt of the live measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine on schedule after vaccination for other common infections was associated with a lower rate of hospital admissions for ...

Third MMR vaccine dose can curtail mumps outbreak

November 5, 2012
(HealthDay)—Administering a third dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine reduced the village-wide attack rate by about 75 percent in a community experiencing a large mumps outbreak despite a high rate of previous ...

Recommended for you

In most surgery patients, length of opioid prescription, number of refills spell highest risk for misuse

January 17, 2018
The possible link between physicians' opioid prescription patterns and subsequent abuse has occupied the attention of a nation in the throes of an opioid crisis looking for ways to stem what experts have dubbed an epidemic. ...

Patients receive most opioids at the doctor's office, not the ER

January 16, 2018
Around the country, state legislatures and hospitals have tightened emergency room prescribing guidelines for opioids to curb the addiction epidemic, but a new USC study shows that approach diverts attention from the main ...

FDA bans use of opioid-containing cough meds by kids

January 12, 2018
(HealthDay)—Trying to put a dent in the ongoing opioid addiction crisis, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday slapped strict new restrictions on the use of opioid-containing cold and cough products by kids.

Taking ibuprofen for long periods found to alter human testicular physiology

January 9, 2018
A team of researchers from Denmark and France has found that taking regular doses of the pain reliever ibuprofen over a long period of time can lead to a disorder in men called compensated hypogonadism. In their paper published ...

Nearly one-third of Canadians have used opioids: study

January 9, 2018
Nearly one in three Canadians (29 percent) have used "some form of opioids" in the past five years, according to data released Tuesday as widespread fentanyl overdoses continue to kill.

Growing opioid epidemic forcing more children into foster care

January 8, 2018
The opioid epidemic has become so severe it's considered a national public health emergency. Addiction to prescription painkillers, such as oxycodone and morphine, has contributed to a dramatic rise in overdose deaths and ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.