The amount of time in which a dose of vaccine must be used after reconstitution varies by vaccine and is usually outlined in the vaccine’s package insert. MMR must be used within 8 hours of reconstitution. MMRV must be used within 30 minutes; other vaccines must be used immediately. Immunize.org has a staff education piece that outlines the time allowed between reconstitution and use, as stated in the package inserts for a number of vaccines. This handout can be found at the following link: www.immunize.org/catg.d/p3040.pdf.
Ask the Experts: MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella): Storage & Handling
MMRII (Merck) brand of MMR vaccine may be stored either in the refrigerator at 2°C to 8°C (36°F to 46°F) or in the freezer at -50°C to -15°C (-58°F to +5°F). Prescribing information for the Priorix (GSK) brand of MMR vaccine states that it should be stored refrigerated (at 2°C to 8°C), but not in the freezer. For both brands, the diluent should not be frozen and can be stored in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
If the MMR is combined with varicella vaccine as MMRV (ProQuad, Merck), it must be stored in the freezer at -50°C to -15°C (-58°F to +5°F).
Unfortunately, serious errors in vaccine storage and handling like this occur too often. If you suspect that vaccine has been mishandled, you should store the vaccine as recommended, then contact the manufacturer or state/local health department for guidance on its use. This is particularly important for live virus vaccines like MMR and varicella.
The guidance for handling after reconstitution is the same for both brands of MMR vaccine (MMRII and Priorix). It is preferable to administer MMR immediately after reconstitution. If not used immediately, the reconstituted vaccine should be store refrigerated (2°C to 8°C [36°F to 46°F]) until use. If reconstituted MMR is not used within 8 hours, it must be discarded.
Only the diluent supplied with the MMR vaccine should be used to reconstitute any vaccine. A vaccine reconstituted with the incorrect diluent should be repeated.