MMRV Vaccine

PRIORIX-TETRA is a vaccine used to prevent four diseases, measles, mumps, rubella (German measles) and varicella (chickenpox).

Measles, mumps, rubella and varicella are all infectious diseases caused by viruses. The vaccine works by causing the body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against these diseases.


Measles is a highly infectious viral illness. Measles is spread by small droplets from the nose, throat or mouth of an infected person (often before it is obvious they have measles). Measles often begins with a fever, runny nose, hacking cough and conjunctivitis (eye inflammation). The rash appears 3-5 days after the onset of symptoms and spreads rapidly all over the body. Measles is often a severe disease complicated by ear infection and pneumonia (lung infection). Encephalitis (swelling of the brain) can also occur and can sometimes result in permanent brain damage or death.


Mumps is an infectious viral disease spread by infected droplets of saliva. Symptoms often begin with chilly sensations, headache, loss of appetite, general unwellness and fever. The salivary glands on one or both sides of the face can then become very painful and swollen. Complications include meningoencephalitis (swelling around the brain) and in older patients the disease may involve other organs e.g. testes in males.

Rubella (German measles)

Rubella is generally a mild infectious viral illness spread by airborne droplets. It can cause mild fever, general unwellness, swollen glands and mild red rash. It often goes unnoticed in adolescents and adults. However rubella can cause miscarriage, stillbirth or birth defects in infants born to mothers infected with rubella during the early months of pregnancy.

Varicella (Chickenpox)

Chickenpox is a highly infectious disease, which usually causes an itchy, red rash with blisters. After about 1 week, most of the blisters have normally crusted over. The rash can appear on the face, scalp, body, or in and around the mouth, eyes and bottom. Other symptoms can include fever, headaches, chills, and muscle and/or joint aches and pains. Sometimes disease complications can occur such as bacterial infection of the skin (often due to scratching of the itchy rash/crusts), inflammation of the brain (varicella encephalitis), and lung infection (varicella pneumonia).

Full recovery from chickenpox generally occurs; however, later in life the virus can become active again. This condition is known as shingles or Herpes zoster.

Vaccination is the best way to protect against these severe diseases. The vaccine will not protect against diseases caused by other types of viruses or organisms.

Although PRIORIX-TETRA contains live viruses, they are too weak to cause severe disease in healthy people. Occasionally, some spots, blisters and fever may appear in the first two weeks after vaccination.