What is Zostavax?
Zostavax contains live varicella zoster virus, which is the virus that causes chickenpox and shingles. The drug, which is the only live virus vaccine for shingles currently available on the U.S. market, is supposed to work by stimulating the body’s immune response to this virus without actually causing disease. However, not only has the drug proven to be largely ineffective, it may also cause shingles, chickenpox, and a large number of other serious side effects.
What’s the Problem?
Zostavax has recently been found to be only about 51% effective and may cause serious, potentially life-threatening side effects in certain users. According to the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC):
“As of September 1, 2015 there had been 1,141 serious adverse events reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) in connection with shingles containing vaccines since 1990. Over 33% of those serious shingles vaccine-related adverse events occurring in seniors 65-75 years of age. Of these shingles-vaccine related adverse event reports to VAERS 90 were deaths, with 40% of the deaths occurring in seniors over 70 years of age.”
Zostavax Side Effects
- Injection site reactions (pain, redness, itching, swelling, warmth, bruising)
- Allergic reactions
- Vision damage / keratitis
- Joint and/or muscle pain
- Skin rash
- And more
In August 2014, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) ordered Merck to include shingles as a potential side effect of the Zostavax vaccination on the product labeling and package insert. FDA’s letter to the company reads:
“We have approved your request (to) update the Package Insert, Section 6.3 Postmarketing Experience to include “infections and infestations: Herpes zoster (vaccine strain)” and to update the Patient Package Insert to include “Shingles” in the “What are the possible side effects of ZOSTAVAX?” section.”
What is Shingles?
Shingles is a painful skin rash that is often accompanied by blisters, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The condition is also referred to as “herpes zoster,” or just “zoster.” A shingles rash typically appears on one side of the face or body and lasts from 2 to 4 weeks.
The main symptom of shingles is pain, which can be quite severe. Other symptoms include fever, headache, chills and upset stomach. In rare cases, a shingles infection can lead to pneumonia, hearing problems, blindness, brain inflammation (encephalitis) or death.
Do I Have a Zostavax Lawsuit?
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Zostavax lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you were harmed by the side effects of Zostavax, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.