Merck announced today that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the addition of the intramuscular route of administration for its MMRV family of vaccines: M-M-RII, VARIVAX, and ProQuad.
While these vaccines have a long history in the US, until now they have only been administered via subcutaneous injection.
“Building on our history of innovation in the world of vaccines, we’re proud to introduce another method of administration for M-M-RII, VARIVAX, and ProQuad vaccines, which have been important in the fight against measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella in the US,” says Eliav Barr, MD, senior vice president, head of global clinical development, and chief medical officer of Merck Research Laboratories, in a press release.
With these approvals, healthcare professionals now have the option to administer all routinely recommended injectable pediatric vaccinations included in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention immunization schedule via the same intramuscular route. In the US, the only measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccines that can be administered intramuscularly are M-M-RII, VARIVAX, and ProQuad. The MMRV family of vaccines has already been licensed for intramuscular administration in the European Union.
“As a pediatrician who routinely vaccinates children, I am excited to now have the option to administer these vaccines intramuscularly,” says Todd Wolynn, MD, co-founding pediatrician of Kids Plus Pediatrics, in a press release. “This approval provides our practice with an additional route of administration.”
ProQuad is a vaccine indicated for active immunization for the prevention of measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella in children 12 months through 12 years of age. It was approved by the FDA in 2005.
VARIVAX is a vaccine indicated for active immunization for the prevention of varicella in individuals 12 months of age or older. It received FDA approval in 1995 and remains the only varicella vaccine available for use in the US.
M-M-RII is indicated for active immunization for the prevention of measles, mumps, and rubella in individuals 12 months of age or older and received FDA approval in 1978.