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Facts About...


What is it?

How effective is the MMRV vaccine?

  • Almost all children who receive two doses of MMR and varicella vaccines are protected against all four diseases.
  • Someone who has had the vaccine may still get one of these diseases. However, the recovery is faster and the symptoms tend to be very mild.

Who should receive the vaccine?

  • Children between 4 and 6 years of age, as part of their routine immunizations.
  • MMRV vaccine is free for children 4 to 12 years old, talk to your health care provider to see if you are eligible.

*In Ontario, two doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination after the first birthday are required for school attendance under the Immunization of School Pupils Act. In addition, two doses of chickenpox vaccine are required for students born in 2010 or later.

Are there side effects with the vaccine?

The most common side effects from the MMRV vaccine:

  • redness, swelling, and tenderness at the site of the injection
  • fever
  • rash

Severe allergic reactions after vaccination are very rare and may not be related to the vaccine. However, if you think a serious reaction is developing, seek medical attention right away. Any unusual or significant changes in your health or your child’s health after receiving the vaccine should be reported to a health care provider and to the Health Department.

Salicylates (ASA or Aspirin) should not be given for 6 weeks after receiving chickenpox vaccine, unless indicated by your health care provider.

Who should NOT get the vaccine?

  • Children less than 4 years or older than 12 years of age.
  • Anyone who has a fever or serious infection worse than a cold should defer the vaccine until they feel better.
  • Pregnant women or women considering pregnancy should avoid pregnancy for 4 weeks following vaccination with MMRV vaccines.
  • Anyone who has had a serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) to a previous dose of MMRV vaccine
  • Any component in a vaccine may be a potential allergen. The most common for MMRV are:

If you have any medical conditions, discuss the vaccine with a health care provider to determine if you should receive it.

Your record of protection

After you or your child receives a vaccine, update your immunization record (yellow card). For children in school or child care, please call the Health Department to update your child’s immunization records. Keep your records in a safe place!

* Parents must contact the Health Department if you object to immunization based on conscious or religious beliefs, or if your child cannot be immunized for medical reasons.

September 21, 2017