Zostavax Shingles Vaccine Lawsuit

In an attempt to prevent shingles, some patients may have unintentionally contracted the virus from their shingles vaccination. The shingles vaccine Zostavax may cause serious injuries, including shingles, blindness, and even death. Injured patients are now filing lawsuits against Zostavax’s manufacturer Merck (and its owner, Bayer) for failing to warn about the potential side effects.The vaccine uses a live, weakened form of the chickenpox and shingles virus. Lawsuits say Merck knew the live virus could cause shingles and other problems.

If you have suffered a severe shingles outbreak or other injury following the administration of Merck’s shingles vaccine Zostavax, call (215) 545-8800 to speak to a McEldrew Purtell attorney about a potential personal injury lawsuit against Merck to recover the damages you have suffered. Rather than prevent the viral infection, Zostavax may actually trigger shingles in some patients, resulting in possible eye injuries, such as permanent blindness. and debilitating pain. If this has happened to you, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

Philadelphia Lawsuit

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Zostavax for the prevention of shingles in individuals age 50 and over, however, a Zostavax lawsuit has been filed in Philadelphia by an individual that suffered side effects in close proximity to administration of the vaccine. The plaintiff suffered a viral infection which resulted in an eye injury, high blood pressure and other side effects. An attorney for the Plaintiff told Law360 that he believes the “vaccine is at best 50 percent effect.” Other cases involving serious side effects such as shingles or opthamological injury may be viable.

About Shingles

For about one million in the United States every year, shingles is a painful return of the childhood illness chickenpox. It results from the varicella zoster virus, which lies dormant deep inside our body following chickenpox. In about one-third of adults, it returns in a painful skin rash known as herpes zoster. For some, neuropathic pain following shingles can linger for months or years after the virus has subsided. If the rash starts near the face or eyes, it can cause vision and hearing problems up to permanent blindness. Because many elderly are immune compromised, shingles can be a serious problem and the cause of debilitating pain.

What are the side effects of the Zostavax vaccine?

Zostavax is a shingles vaccine for patients 50 years and older, an age when the virus is more common. It’s caused by dormant chickenpox viruses which can lay in the body’s nervous system for years, eventually creating shingles. The virus is typically characterized by a painful band of blisters on one side of the torso.

Zostavax uses a weakened form of the herpes zoster virus—commonly referred to as shingles—in order to activate the immune system. After fighting the weakened version of the virus, the body builds immunity. According to the FDA, at best, the vaccine only works in 50 percent of patients, and even then it will only last for about six years. The FDA reports that Zostavax side effects can include the following:

  • Shingles
  • Chickenpox
  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Eye disorders, including necrotizing retinitis

But some plaintiffs allege that Zostavax caused even more serious complications, like blindness, hearing loss, paralysis, brain damage, and fatal liver failure. If you have been injured following Merck’s shingles vaccine Zostavax, call (215) 545-8800 to speak to a McEldrew Purtell attorney about a potential personal injury lawsuit.