Shingles Vaccine Lawsuits
Shingles is a reactivation of the chickenpox virus in the body that can result in a painful, blistering rash. Shingles is most common in adults over the age of 50 and can affect anyone who’s had chickenpox in their lifetime. In 2006, the FDA approved Merck & Co.’s shingles vaccine, Zostavax, for adults 50 years of age and older. However, since its release Merck has had to make a number of FDA approved additions to the warning label. Some of the additional side effects include, an eye disorder; necrotizing retinitis and shingles. Lawsuits are now being filed against the pharmaceutical giant, Merck, by those who have suffered injuries related to the Zostavax vaccine, claiming defective design, negligence and failure to warn.
How Does Zostavax Work?
Merck’s shingles vaccine Zostavax contains a muted or “attenuated” form of the chickenpox virus, varicella zoster, that is responsible for causing shingles. Zostavax is very similar to the vaccine used to prevent chickenpox, except it is significantly stronger. The drug is intended to stimulate the human immune system, keep the virus dormant and prevent shingles. However, because the vaccine contains the live virus the vaccine can actually cause the disease it was designed to prevent. The result of which can be serious harm to the nervous system.
Possible Zostavax Vaccine complications include:
- Post-herpetic neuralgia, or PHN (pain continuing after shingles blister subside)
- Nerve damage and pain
- Cardiovascular event (heart attack and stroke)
- Vision problems, including blindness, eye infections, retinal damage, acute retinal necrosis
- Inner ear damage and vertigo
- Hearing loss
- Disseminated varicella
- Encephalitis (nerve damage or inflammation to the brain)
- Meningitis (nerve damage or inflammation to the brain and spinal cord)
- Secondary bacterial infections from shingles rash