Note: Merck's separate dose for rubella, Meruvax, uses aborted fetal cell lines and taints the entire MMR II vaccine. The separate doses of Attenuvax (measles) and Mumpsvax (mumps) use chick embryo. Without these separate doses for measles and mumps, there will be no moral alternative for parents! See contact information for Merck below.
Merck Focusing on Combination Vaccine: Manufacturer Stops Sales of Monovalents for Measles, Mumps, Rubella.
Merck & Co. Inc. has stopped production and sales of its monovalent vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella. The manufacturer instead plans to focus on its combination vaccine, MMRII.
Merck spokeswoman Amy Rose said MMRII accounts for 98 percent of the company's volume for measles, mumps and rubella vaccines, compared to just 2 percent from monovalent vaccines Attenuvax (measles), Mumpsvax (mumps) and Meruvax (rubella).
"The combination vaccine is what's recommended, and it's such a significant portion of the orders we see," said Rose. "It's in the best interest of public health to make more of that rather than dedicate manufacturing capacity to monovalents."
Rose said Merck had not decided when, or if, it might make the monovalent vaccines available for sale in the future.
Doug Campos-Outcalt, M.D., M.P.A., who serves as the AAFP's liaison to the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and is a former member of the AAFP Commission on Clinical Policies and Research, said Merck's decision was insignificant in terms of public health. He added, however, that some parents likely will be unhappy.
"The use of the single antigen is pretty limited," he said. "There's no harm if you need one in getting all three. There are some parents out there that want a delayed vaccine schedule. They want the vaccines spread out over a longer period of time and not so many at once. That's a lot of hooey. Alternative schedules have never been proven to be superior."
If you write to Merck, COG for Life asks that you send a copy to the CDC:
Richard Clark, CEO
Merck & Company
One Merck Drive P.O. Box 100
Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889-0100
Julie L. Gerberding, Director
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30333
[http://www.cogforlife.org/merck1208.htm; David Mitchell, 12/24/2008]