They can be given separately but at the same time, which means two needle sticks. They are also available in a combination vaccine MMRV, or one needle stick. Whether your child receives one or two needle sticks largely depends on what your pediatrician’s office keeps in stock.
A very large, 12-year study just published confirmed that both vaccines are safe and effective. During this time, more than 700,000 doses of MMR + V, or MMRV, were administered and their side effects tracked. There were no significant differences between the vaccines side effects and no new vaccine side effects were discovered.
Both MMR + V and MMRV slightly increase the chance for fever and febrile seizure in the 7-10 days after they are administered. MMRV has a slightly increased risk of febrile seizure (about 1 in 1,000 doses) compared the MMR + V, thought the difference is very small.
Reviewed by Dr. Sara Connolly, March 2019