What is the MMR vaccine?
It protects your child against 3 viruses: measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles).
Measles: highly contagious; symptoms are rash, fever, runny nose, cough, and eye irritation; complications include ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia, seizures, encephalitis, brain damage, and death.
Mumps: a viral infection that causes a fever, headache, and inflammation of the glands under the jaw; complications include meningitis, encephalitis, and (rarely) deafness.
Rubella or German measles: characterized by a pinkish red rash that starts on the face, a mild fever, and swollen lymph nodes (but one can also have rubella without any symptoms);
When should my child have the MMR vaccine?
There are 2 recommended doses: the first dose given between 12 and 15 months, and the second dose given between 4 and 6 years old (or anytime as long as it’s at least 28 days after the first).
Are there any side effects?
Common mild reactions are a low fever and a mild rash.
Rare cases of swelling in the glands of the child’s neck or cheeks.
MMRV vs. MMR:
MMRV is just the same as MMR, except that it includes protection against the varicella virus, which causes chicken pox.
I found a helpful immunization chart from this site: http://www.expectantmothersguide.com/library/EUSimmunization.htm