Were You Harmed By The Zostavax Shingles Vaccine?

Although there is much public disinformation about vaccines, most are safe and highly effective. Unfortunately, those that are either unsafe or ineffective can harm patients and weaken public trust in vaccines generally.

A good example is Zostavax, the shingles vaccine manufactured by Merck. First FDA approved in 2006, Zostavax is recommended for adults age 50 and older who have previously had chicken pox at some point in their lives (and are therefore at risk of developing shingles).

The first Zostavax lawsuits were filed against Merck in February 2017, alleging serious injuries caused by Zostavax and Merck's failure to warn of the drug's dangers and full list of side effects. Since that time, the number of plaintiffs taking legal action has continued to grow.

Causing The Very Disease It Is Intended To Prevent

Imagine being offered a vaccine, then being told that one of the potential side effects is developing the very disease that the vaccine is supposed to prevent. Would you take it?

This is what happened with Zostavax, but the vaccine's labeling wasn't updated to include the shingles risk until 2014 — about seven years after the drug was approved.

Zostavax is what's known as a "live attenuated virus." It is "live" because it contains a live strain of the shingles virus, and "attenuated" because the virus is weakened. By introducing a weakened version of a virus, the patient's immune system can successfully attack it and build immunity in the process.

Many believe that Zostavax is under-attenuated, meaning that the virus has not been weakened enough to be safe. In such cases, the vaccine can cause the disease it was developed to prevent.

Other Serious Side Effects

Patients who have been harmed as the result of taking Zostavax have suffered several serious (and even fatal) symptoms in addition to the development of shingles. They include:

  • Eye disorders, including blindness
  • Paralysis
  • Brain damage
  • Hearing loss
  • Liver failure resulting in death

The government tracks problems with vaccines in a federal database called the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. Since Zostavax first came onto the market, the VAERS has collected well over 1,000 serious adverse event reports, including dozens of deaths.

Discuss Your Options With A Zostavax Injury Lawyer Today

If you or a loved one has suffered serious injury (or worse) as a result of receiving the Zostavax vaccine, please contact one of our skilled attorneys to discuss your legal options in a free initial consultation.

From our offices on Wall Street, Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C., serves clients throughout the state of New York. Our personal injury and product liability cases are taken on a contingency basis, which means we don't get paid until and unless we help you recover money. To learn more, send us an email or call 212-514-5007.