Policy statement-Prevention of varicella: update of recommendations for use of quadrivalent and monovalent varicella vaccines in children

Committee on Infectious, Diseases

Pediatrics. 2011 Aug 30; 128(3):630-2

Abstract

Two varicella-containing vaccines are licensed for use in the United States: monovalent varicella vaccine (Varivax [Merck & Co, Inc, West Point, PA]) and quadrivalent measles-mumps-rubella-varicella vaccine (MMRV) (ProQuad [Merck & Co, Inc]). It is estimated from postlicensure data that after vaccination at 12 through 23 months of age, 7 to 9 febrile seizures occur per 10,000 children who receive the MMRV, and 3 to 4 febrile seizures occur per 10,000 children who receive the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) and varicella vaccines administered concurrently but at separate sites. Thus, 1 additional febrile seizure is expected to occur per approximately 2300 to 2600 children 12 to 23 months old vaccinated with the MMRV, when compared with separate MMR and varicella vaccine administration. The period of risk for febrile seizures is from 5 through 12 days after receipt of the vaccine(s). No increased risk of febrile seizures is seen among patients 4 to 6 years of age receiving MMRV. Febrile seizures do not predispose to epilepsy or neurodevelopmental delays later in life and are not associated with long-term health impairment. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that either MMR and varicella vaccines separately or the MMRV be used for the first dose of measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccines administered at 12 through 47 months of age. For the first dose of measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccines administered at ages 48 months and older, and for dose 2 at any age (15 months to 12 years), use of MMRV generally is preferred over separate injections of MMR and varicella vaccines.

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