Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Meruvax II (rubella virus) Vaccine Live is a live vaccination used to help prevent rubella (also called German Measles) in adults and children who are at least 12 months old. Meruvax II Vaccine is available in generic form. Common side effects of Meruvax II Vaccine include injection site reactions (pain, redness, swelling, or a lump), fever, irritability, mild swollen glands (lymph nodes), measles-like rash, hives, tiredness, sore throat, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches, cough, runny nose, tiredness, joint or muscle pain, or numbness or tingly feeling. These rubella-like symptoms may occur 11 to 20 days after vaccination with Meruvax II and are usually mild and temporary, persisting 1 to 5 days.
The dose of Meruvax II for any age is 0.5 mL administered subcutaneously, preferably into the upper arm. The recommended age for primary vaccination is 12 to 15 months. Revaccination with M-M-R II is recommended prior to elementary school entry. Meruvax II may interact with steroids, medicines to treat or prevent organ transplant rejection, or medications to treat psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other autoimmune disorders. Tell your doctor all medications and supplements you use, and all other vaccines you have recently received. Meruvax II must not be used during pregnancy. It may harm a fetus. If you have been vaccinated with rubella virus vaccine, you should not become pregnant for at least 3 months after the vaccination. The live, weakened virus in this vaccine passes into breast milk. Rarely, mild illness in nursing infants has been reported. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding. Even if your nursing infant is exposed to rubella virus from breastfeeding, he/she should still receive the vaccine at 12 months.
Our Meruvax II (rubella virus) Vaccine Live Side Effects Drug Center provides a comprehensive view of available drug information on the potential side effects when taking this medication.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash with blistering and peeling).
You should not receive a booster vaccine if you had a life-threatening allergic reaction after the first shot.
Keep track of any and all side effects you have after receiving this vaccine. When you receive a booster dose, you will need to tell the doctor if the previous shots caused any side effects.
Becoming infected with measles, mumps, or rubella is much more dangerous to your health than receiving this vaccine. However, like any medicine, this vaccine can cause side effects but the risk of serious side effects is extremely low.
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- red, tender bumps under your skin;
- a light-headed feeling, like you might pass out;
- high fever (within a few hours or a few days after the vaccine);
- easy bruising or bleeding;
- new or worsening cough, trouble breathing;
- problems with balance or muscle movement;
- a seizure; or
- nervous system problems--numbness, pain, tingling, weakness, burning or prickly feeling, vision or hearing problems, trouble breathing.
You may have joint pain 2 to 4 weeks after receiving an MMR vaccine. This is more common in women and teenaged girls.
Common side effects include:
- headache, dizziness;
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
- runny nose, sore throat, not feeling well;
- muscle pain, joint pain or stiffness; or
- feeling irritable (fussiness in a young child).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report vaccine side effects to the US Department of Health and Human Services at 1-800-822-7967.
Read the entire detailed patient monograph for Meruvax (Rubella Virus Vaccine Live)
The following adverse reactions are listed in decreasing order of severity, without regard to causality, within each body system category and have been reported during clinical trials, with use of the marketed vaccine, or with use of polyvalent vaccine containing rubella:
Body as a Whole
Hemic and Lymphatic System
Anaphylaxis and anaphylactoid reactions have been reported as well as related phenomena such as angioneurotic edema (including peripheral or facial edema) and bronchial spasm in individuals with or without an allergic history.
Chronic arthritis has been associated with natural rubella infection and has been related to persistent virus and/or viral antigen isolated from body tissues. Only rarely have vaccine recipients developed chronic joint symptoms.
Following vaccination in children, reactions in joints are uncommon and generally of brief duration. In women, incidence rates for arthritis and arthralgia are generally higher than those seen in children (children: 0-3%; women: 12-26%)7,36,37 and the reactions tend to be more marked and of longer duration. Symptoms may persist for a matter of months or on rare occasions for years. In adolescent girls, the reactions appear to be intermediate in incidence between those seen in children and in adult women. Even in women older than 35 years, these reactions are generally well tolerated and rarely interfere with normal activities. Myalgia and paresthesia have been reported rarely after administration of MERUVAX (rubella virus vaccine live) II.
Special Senses — Ear
Nerve deafness; otitis media.
Special Senses — Eye
Optic neuritis; papillitis; retrobulbar neuritis; conjunctivitis.
Death from various, and in some cases unknown, causes has been reported rarely following vaccination with measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines; however, a causal relationship has not been established. No deaths or permanent sequelae were reported in a published post-marketing surveillance study in Finland involving 1.5 million children and adults who were vaccinated with M-M-R II during 1982-1993.38
Under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986, health-care providers and manufacturers are required to record and report certain suspected adverse events occurring within specific time periods after vaccination. However, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has established a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) which will accept all reports of suspected events.31 A VAERS report form as well as information regarding reporting requirements can be obtained by calling VAERS 1-800-822-7967. 31. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System — United States, MMWR 39(41): 730-733, October 19, 1990.
Read the entire FDA prescribing information for Meruvax (Rubella Virus Vaccine Live)