Merck's Combination Children's Vaccine Linked to Convulsions

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    Children who take Merck's combination vaccine ProQuad suffer from convulsions twice as frequently as children who are given two separate vaccines, a federally funded study has found.

    In response, the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has reversed its prior position of recommending ProQuad, which protects against measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) and chicken pox, over two separate vaccines for chicken pox and MMR.

    "Safety, shortages, delivery issues - lots of reasons not to state such a strong preference," advisory committee member Patsy Stinchfield said.

    Previously, the committee had recommended ProQuad over the separate vaccines in order to reduce the number of shots that children would have to undergo.

    ProQuad costs approximately the same as the chicken pox and MMR vaccines combined. Due to manufacturing problems, the vaccine has been in short supply since 2007.

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    Merck's Combination Children's Vaccine Linked to Convulsions
     

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