MMR vaccine

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The MMR vaccine is an immunization shot against measles, mumps and rubella (also called German measles). It was first developed by Maurice Hilleman while at Merck in the late 1960s.[1]

The vaccine is a mixture of three live attenuated viruses, administered via injection. The shot is generally administered to children around the age of one year, with a second dose before starting school (i.e. age 4/5). The second dose is not a booster; it is a dose to produce immunity in the small number of persons (2–5%) who fail to develop measles immunity after the first dose.[2] In the United States, the vaccine was licensed in 1971 and the second dose was introduced in 1989.[3] It is widely used around the world; since introduction of its earliest versions in the 1970s, over 500 million doses have been used in over 60 countries. As with all vaccinations, long-term effects and efficacy are subject to continuing study. The vaccine is sold by Merck as M-M-R II, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals as Priorix, Serum Institute of India as Tresivac, and Sanofi Pasteur as Trimovax.

It is usually considered a childhood vaccination. However, it is also recommended for use in some cases of adults with HIV.[4][5]

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Effectiveness

Before the widespread use of a vaccine against measles, its incidence was so high that infection with measles was felt to be "as inevitable as death and taxes."[6] Today, the incidence of measles has fallen to less than 1% of people under the age of 30 in countries with routine childhood vaccination.[citation needed] In the United States, reported cases of measles in the United States fell from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands per year following introduction of the vaccine in 1963. Increasing uptake of the vaccine following outbreaks in 1971 and 1977 brought this down to thousands of cases per year in the 1980s. An outbreak of almost 30,000 cases in 1990 led to a renewed push for vaccination and the addition of a second vaccine to the recommended schedule. Fewer than 200 cases have been reported each year since 1997, and the disease is no longer considered endemic.[7][8][9]

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