Zostavax Lawsuit – Shingles Vaccine Class Action Lawyers
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Across the nation, patients are filing Zostavax injury lawsuits against drug giant Merck alleging the vaccine caused them to suffer serious and life-changing injuries. The plaintiffs in these cases are seeking justice and compensation for the injuries they suffered. We fiercely advocate for people who suffer harm from the medication they need. If you or your family member suffered a serious injury or adverse event within a year of being injected with the Zostavax vaccine, you have rights, and we defend those rights to ensure you get the most compensation available by law for your injuries.
Vaccines were introduced in the late 1700s when a medical student in Europe noticed that milkmaids who had already contracted cowpox did not contract smallpox. The young student scratched some cowpox under the skin of a young boy and followed this up weeks later with a scratch of smallpox. The boy did not develop the insidious disease. Since then, vaccines have been used to fight a wide range of deadly diseases.
Unfortunately, some vaccines have been associated with adverse events that may be more dangerous and severe than the diseases they were meant to protect against. In fact, some patients who were injected with the Zostavax vaccine to prevent a painful condition called shingles, have experienced serious and life-altering adverse events and side effects that continue to have a detrimental effect on the recipient and their families.
Many of the patients who developed a serious condition or suffered a severe adverse event after being injected with the vaccine allege that Merck designed, made, marketed, and sold a product that may cause chickenpox, serious eye damage and vision loss, inflammation of the spinal cord, and even painful shingles, the condition the vaccine was designed to stop.
Anyone who received the Zostavax shingles vaccine between 2006 and 2017 and then developed a serious injury within a year of being injected may be entitled to significant compensation. Contact us now to learn more.
Severe Adverse Events Reported
Thousands of adverse events have been reported about Zostavax according to the National Vaccine Information Center. In fact, the organization has published over 3,000 pages of more than 36,000 adverse event reports including reports of serious eye conditions like retinitis, corneal inflammation, stroke, and painful shingles outbreaks. Some of the Zostavax adverse events reported include:
- Shingles/herpes zoster (HZ)
- Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN)
- Herpes Zoster Keratitis / Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus (shingles in the eye)
- Acute Retinal Necrosis (inflammation of the eye)
- Retinal Uveitis/ Herpetic uveitis (intraocular inflammation)
- Corneal Band Keratopathy
- Bell’s Palsy (paralysis of the facial nerve on one side of the face)
- Acute Myelitis (inflammation of the matter in the spinal cord)
- Encephalitis (swelling of the brain)
- Immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) (Platelet Disorder)
- Thrombocytopenia (deficiency of platelets)
- Meningitis (inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord)
- Ramsay Hunt Syndrome/ Herpes zoster oticus (shingles in the facial nerve near the ear)
Other severe adverse events have also been associated with the vaccine, including:
- Hearing loss
- Spinal Cord Inflammation
- Vision loss
We encourage anyone who received a Zostavax injection between 2006 and 2017 and were diagnosed with one of the listed adverse events within a year of being injected, to contact us to learn whether you are entitled to compensation for the financial losses you incurred and even for the pain you suffered.
What is Zostavax?
Zostavax is one of two vaccines for the condition shingles. It was approved for use in patients over the age of 60 by the FDA in 2006. In 2011, its approval was expanded to include people aged 50 or older.
Shingles are caused by the same herpes virus that causes chickenpox. In fact, shingles is basically a dormant chickenpox virus that sometimes reactivates decades later in the form of shingles. The Zostavax vaccine contains a small amount of weakened virus to help the body build immunity.
Because the vaccine contains live virus, it is not to be given to children, people with a weakened immune system, or those who have not had chickenpox. However, some patients have reported developing shingles from the vaccine. If you were diagnosed with shingles within three months of being injected, you might be eligible to seek significant compensation from the drug maker.
Is it Worth the Risk?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Zostavax can reduce the risk of patients developing shingles by nearly half and reduces the risk of suffering an extremely painful related complication called postherpetic neuralgia by 67 percent. PHN affects the areas of the body in which shingles developed and causes the nerves to remain hypersensitive.
However, adverse event reports continued to be logged. The NVIC has published more than three thousand pages of adverse event reports, and the number continues to grow. Some of the published reports list patients having serious reactions to the vaccines, while others say patients were hospitalized, and some lost their vision. In light of the issues with the vaccine, the government has changed from recommending people get the Zostavax vaccine to recommending the Shingrix vaccine instead.
But this recommendation does nothing for the patients who received the Zostavax vaccine and ended up being diagnosed with chickenpox or shingles within three months of the injection. Nor does it help patients who received the vaccine only to be diagnosed with one of the many reported adverse events including vision loss and blindness.
Patients who suffered serious complications, developed shingles, or were diagnosed with eye damage, vision loss or blindness are seeking justice from the manufacturer. They accuse Merck of failing to adequately warn medical communities and their patients of the serious adverse events that have been associated with the vaccine, and by doing so, failed to give patients an opportunity to make informed healthcare decisions.
Diagnosed with Eye Damage after Being Vaccinated?
The herpes virus that causes chickenpox and shingles has also been associated with serious eye injuries including retinitis which is a type of inflammation that causes disturbances in your vision, makes you sensitive to light, and may cause you to see floaters. If you develop retinitis and do not seek immediate medical care, you could become permanently blind. And the vision loss might not take as long as you think.
In fact, scientists have determined that some patients may lose their vision shortly after being vaccinated with Zostavax. An article published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology discussed two cases where patients suffered a condition called acute retinal necrosis after being vaccinated. One of the patients lost their vision within two months of being vaccinated with Zostavax. The other patient went blind within a week of being injected. The journal had earlier published an article discussing a patient whose keratitis (inflammation of the cornea) got severely worse within a month of being vaccinated with Zostavax.
Zostavax can also reactivate inflammation of the eye. In fact, an article published in the journal Cornea discussed a case in which corneal inflammation was reactivated after the patient was injected with Zostavax. The authors of this article, as well as those published in other journals urge doctors to use caution when recommending their patients get vaccinated against shingles with Zostavax.
Yet, despite more than a decade of research suggesting that the vaccine could cause patients to suffer eye damage, vision loss, and permanent blindness, the manufacturer did not warn of these risks. In fact, it wasn’t until 2016 that Merck changed the label of the vaccine to include a warning that patients may develop acute necrotizing retinitis, far too late for the patients who lost their vision and want answers to why they were not warned about the danger before they were inoculated.
Vaccine Recipients may be Transmission Sources
Patients were shocked to discover they may transmit the virus to other people after being inoculated. A study published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases showed that the virus could remain active on the skin and in the saliva for an extended period of time. For the study, researchers took swabs of the injection sites of 36 people who were vaccinated with Zostavax and collected their saliva for a period of 28 days. They found that in 21 patients, the virus remained live in the saliva, and remained live on the skin of 18 other patients. Patients who receive an injection in which the virus remains live for nearly a month could potentially transmit the virus to others and expose them to infection.
We Can Help
If you received the Zostavax vaccine between 2006 and 2017 and were diagnosed with shingles within three months, or diagnosed within a year of injection with any of the serious conditions listed, contact us now. We have fought for decades for the rights of patients harmed by the products that are supposed to help, and we will fight for you.
Patients across the country are seeking justice against Merck and compensation for the serious injuries they suffered and will continue to suffer, possibly for the rest of their lives.
Dozens of lawsuits have been filed in state and federal courts across the country. So many in fact that Merck has requested they be consolidated in multidistrict litigation. The plaintiffs in these lawsuits allege they suffered serious side effects and severe adverse events that they were not warned about, and they want to know why.
If you or someone you love received a Zostavax shot between 2006 and 2017 and were diagnosed with shingles within three months or were diagnosed with vision loss, eye damage, blindness or any of the serious injuries we listed on this page, contact us as soon as possible to see if you are eligible to seek significant financial compensation for your Zostavax injuries.