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Lawsuits are being filed on behalf of patients across the country who experienced serious and life-changing injuries and complications from the Zostavax shingles vaccine. These patients are seeking significant compensation for their injuries. Our attorneys are fierce advocates for patients and consumers who are harmed by the medications they need to stay healthy. If you or your loved one suffered a serious injury or severe health complication after receiving the Zostavax vaccine, you have rights by law. We defend those rights and help you get the maximum compensation available for your injuries.
What’s Going On?
Vaccines have eliminated many dangerous viruses and saved countless lives since they were first introduced in the 1700s. In most cases, the benefits of inoculations outweigh the risks, but that may not always be the case. Some vaccines have been associated with serious adverse events that may be more severe than the viral infections they were designed to prevent.
Some patients who received the Zostavax vaccine against the painful and debilitating condition shingles have suffered adverse events and serious health consequences that have and will continue to have a detrimental effect on their lives and the lives of their family members. Many of the patients who suffered a serious injury after receiving the vaccine are suing Zostavax maker Merck. These patients accuse the manufacturer of designing, making, and selling a product that can cause chickenpox, vision loss and blindness, spinal inflammation, and shingles, the very condition the vaccine was supposed to prevent.
If you or a person you love received the Zostavax vaccine between 2006 and 2017 and suffered a severe adverse event within a year of being injected, contact us now. You may be entitled to significant financial compensation.
Thousands of Adverse Events Reported
Thus far, and the tally continues to increase, more than 36,000 adverse event reports have been published by the National Vaccine Information Center, including reports of spinal inflammation, corneal inflammation, retinitis, vision loss, chickenpox, and even shingles. Some of the most serious adverse events that have been reported in patients after receiving the Zostavax vaccine include:
- Acute myelitis
- Bell’s Palsy
- Chicken Pox
- Corneal Band Keratopathy
- Hearing loss
- Herpetic Uveitis
- Herpes Zoster Keratitis
- Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus
- Herpes Zoster Oticus
- Immune Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)
- Necrotizing Retinitis
- Post-Herpetic Neuralgia (PHN)
- Ramsay Hunt Syndrome
- Retinal Uveitis
- Spinal Cord Inflammation
- Vision loss
Contact us now if you if were injected with Zostavax between the years of 2006 and 2017 and you were diagnosed with any one of the adverse events listed above within a year of getting the shot. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses including medical costs, missed wages, and even compensation for your pain and anguish.
Side Effects, Adverse Events, and Health Complications
Zostavax was approved by the FDA for use in the United States in 2006 for patients aged 60 and over. The vaccine approval was expanded in 2011 to include use in patients aged 50 and up. The vaccine is used to prevent a painful condition called shingles. Shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus which can remain dormant in the body for decades only to reactivate later in life to cause shingles.
Zostavax vaccine has a small amount of weakened, live herpes zoster virus in it so your body can build immunity to the virus. But because of the live virus, Zostavax should not be given to people who have never had chickenpox, people with a weakened immune system, or to children.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the vaccine can reduce the risk of developing shingles by 51 percent and can reduce the risk of suffering postherpetic neuralgia by 67 percent. Postherpetic neuralgia is an extremely painful condition in which the areas of the body that developed the shingles rash outbreak remain hypersensitive.
Yet, the FDA and the manufacturer continued to receive adverse event reports. According to the National Vaccine Information Center, more than 36,000 adverse event reports have been filed. The organization has published more than 3,600 pages of these reports online. Some of the reports say the patients suffered serious injury, reactions, hospitalization, and vision loss after receiving the Zostavax injection. The government no longer recommends the Zostavax vaccine for shingles, preferring Shingrix instead.
But the patients who were injected with Zostavax only to develop chickenpox, shingles, or one of a host of serious conditions are seeking justice from Merck. These patients accuse the drug maker of failing to adequately warn the medical community and its patients about the risks of serious side effects and adverse events that have been associated with the vaccine such as vision loss and blindness.
Zostavax Eye Damage
The herpes zoster virus that is used in Zostavax has been associated with serious eye conditions including retinitis, an inflammation in the eye that can make you sensitive to light, cause vision disturbances, and cause you to see floaters in your field of vision. If medical attention is not received immediately, this condition can lead to permanent blindness.
Unfortunately, researchers have discovered that some patients may suffer vision damage soon after receiving the injection. In fact, researchers published an article in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology in 2011 reporting on two cases of acute retinal necrosis that occurred after the patients received the Zostavax vaccine. One of the patients in the study suffered vision loss approximately two months after receiving the vaccine while the other patient lost their vision within a week of being injected.
The year prior, JAMA Ophthalmology published a research letter finding that a patient’s corneal inflammation (keratitis) worsened severely about a month after being injected with the Zostavax shingles vaccine.
A 2013 study published in the journal Cornea analyzed the case of a patient whose corneal inflammation reactivated after receiving the vaccine. Study authors of this and the studies published in JAMA suggest that physicians use caution when vaccinating patients of any age. Despite research showing that use of the vaccine could cause vision loss and other serious complications, the manufacturer did not warn about the risks. In fact, it wasn’t until 2016 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration required Merck to change the label of Zostavax to include a warning that vaccine recipients may develop necrotizing retinitis. Far too late for the many patients who suffered these dangerous eye conditions, vision loss, and blindness, and who are questioning why they were not warned of these dangers before they received the vaccination.
Vaccine Recipients may be Transmission Sources
In 2014, the FDA required Merck to change the label of Zostavax to show the vaccine can actually cause some people to develop shingles. While the label already warned that some people might develop chickenpox after receiving the vaccine, the manufacturer did not warn that the vaccine could cause shingles in some patients despite being created to reduce the chances of developing the painful condition.
Even more concerning – you may not have to get the shot to be affected. The Journal of Infectious Diseases published a study in 2011 that proved to be quite concerning. Researchers analyzed 36 patients who received the Zostavax injection. Researchers took swabs of the injection site and saliva samples over a period of 28 days. They found that the virus remained active in 21 of the study participants, and on the skin at the injection site of 18 patients. This means that patients who receive the vaccine could potentially transmit the live virus to other people for about a month after injection.
Contact Us Now, We Can Help
If you, a family member, or someone else you love was injected with the Zostavax vaccine between 2006 and 2017 and developed any of the serious side effects or adverse events listed on this page within a year of getting the shot, contact us today. We have been fighting for the rights of people harmed by the medicines and products that they depended on for decades, and we stand ready to fight for you and your family now.
Lawsuits are being filed on behalf of individuals and families across the country seeking justice and compensation for the injuries they suffered and will continue to suffer after being injected with the Zostavax vaccine. Dozens of lawsuits have been filed in Pennsylvania state and federal court to be heard by Judge Denis Cohen and Judge Harvey Bartle III respectively. In fact, so many lawsuits have been filed in federal courts that Merck has requested they be consolidated to multidistrict litigation. These lawsuits allege the Zostavax shingles vaccine caused them to suffer severe side effects and adverse events such as vision loss, blindness, and other serious and life-changing injuries.
If you or someone you love received a Zostavax shot between 2006 and 2017, and you developed any of the serious adverse events we listed above, contact us as soon as possible to see if you are eligible to seek significant financial compensation for your Zostavax injuries.