What are the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations for use of a combined MMR and varicella vaccine (Varivax)?

Updated: Nov 30, 2018
  • Author: Kirsten A Bechtel, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Answer

The combined MMRV vaccine (Varivax) has been shown to be associated with an increased risk of febrile seizure occurring 5-12 days following vaccination at a rate of 1 in 2300-2600 in children aged 12-23 months compared with separate MMR vaccine and varicella vaccine administered simultaneously. [39, 40] As a result, the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that separate MMR and varicella vaccines be used for the first dose, although providers or parents may opt to use the combined MMRV for the first dose after receiving counseling regarding this risk. [41] MMRV is preferred for the second dose (at any age) or the first dose if given at age 48 months or older.


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