ProQuad is a childhood vaccination that helps protect against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (chickenpox). It is a live attenuated vaccine, which means that it contains live viruses that are altered to prevent diseases from occurring. The dosage is standard for everyone, and the injections are administered on two separate occasions. Side effects may include fever, irritability, and injection site reactions.
What Is ProQuad?
ProQuad® (MMRV) is a vaccine used to provide protection against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (chickenpox). It is approved for use in individuals 12 months through 12 years of age.
(Click ProQuad Uses for more information on what the vaccine is used for, including possible off-label uses.)
Thimerosal Content and Other Concerns
ProQuad does not contain thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative. People who are concerned about exposure to this substance can be confident that this vaccine does not even contain trace amounts of thimerosal. Some people are also concerned about the aluminum content of vaccines. ProQuad does not contain any aluminum.
This vaccine is grown in animal and human fetal components. Specifically, parts of the vaccine are grown in chick embryo cells, fetal bovine (cow) serum, and a cell line developed from an aborted human fetus.
Who Makes ProQuad?
ProQuad is made by Merck & Co., Inc.
How Does It Work?
ProQuad is a live attenuated vaccine. This means that it contains living viruses, which have been altered in such a way as to prevent them from actually causing diseases. However, the body's immune system still responds to the viruses, providing future protection from the diseases.
In general, live vaccines provide better protection from infections compared to other types of vaccines, but they can actually cause the diseases in rare cases, particularly in people who have weakened immune systems.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Vaccine information statement: MMRV (5/21/10). CDC Web site. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-mmrv.pdf. Accessed September 13, 2010.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 8th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2008.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed September 13, 2010.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Use of combination measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccine. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2010 May 7; 59(RR03);1-12.
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