Zostavax is a shingles vaccine that contains a live virus. Infections with the virus in Zostavax can cause shingles, chronic pain, blindness, hearing loss, nerve damage, Post-Herpetic Neuralgia, or even death.
Need a Texas Zostavax Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was injured by Zostavax, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
Our lawyers are accepting cases involving any of the following side effects within 6 months of vaccination with Zostavax:
- Serious neurological diseases or disorders, including brain inflammation (encephalitis)
- Herpetic Neuralgia (disorder in the nerves)
- Postherpetic neuralgia, or PHN (pain continuing after shingles blister subside)
- Myelitis (spinal cord inflammation)
- Bell’s Palsy (facial paralysis)
- Vision problems, including: blindness, eye infections, and retinal damage (necrotizing retinitis)
- Hearing loss
Over 1,300 Zostavax Lawsuits Filed Against Merck & Co.
Merck & Co. has been hit with over 1,300 Zostavax lawsuits involving people who were injured by side effects. Similar to a class action, Zostavax lawsuits are centralized under a single judge in Multi-District Litigation (MDL 2848) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Zostavax Lawsuit Filed in New Jersey
Merck & Co. has been hit with a lawsuit (PDF) from a group of 18 people in 11 states who suffered severe side effects of Zostavax, a vaccine against shingles that can potentially cause shingles. At least 36 deaths and 1,111 serious injuries have been linked to Zostavax, according to the lawsuit. Click here to read more.
Sick Patient Dies After Zostavax Shingles Vaccine
After a sick patient in Australia died after being given Zostavax, a safety warning was issued about the risk of deadly infections in March 2017. Health officials are reminding doctors not to give Zostavax to patients with compromised immune systems due to certain illnesses or medications. Click here to read more.
1st Zostavax Shingles Vaccine Lawsuit
The first lawsuit over Merck’s shingles vaccine Zostavax was filed by a woman from Reno, Nevada who developed severe complications within 24 hours. The lawsuit (PDF) was filed in February 2017 — In RE: Jorja Bentley vs. Merck & Co., et al. — Case No. 161004102
What is Zostavax?
Zostavax is a single-injection vaccine against shingles, an extremely painful rash that occurs when the chickenpox virus is reactivated. Zostavax contains a live virus that has been weakened. It was developed by Merck & Co. and approved by the FDA in 2006 for adults over 50 years old.
How Effective is Zostavax?
Zostavax is about 51% effective in preventing shingles. In studies, shingles occurred in 1.7% of Zostavax patients vs. 3.3% of unvaccinated patients. It also reduces the risk of chronic pain in people who get shingles despite the vaccine. Protection lasts about 5 years. Zostavax is most effective for adults aged 60-69 years old.
Zostavax Contains Live Virus
Zostavax costs over $200 a shot and is only effective in half of patients. It contains a live virus and it may actually cause shingles — the disease it is supposed to prevent — or chickenpox, especially in older patients with weaker immune systems.
FDA Warning: Shingles is a Side Effect of Zostavax
In August 2014, Merck & Co. was told by the FDA to add “shingles” to the list of side effects from Zostavax. The agency also strengthened warnings about “infections and infestations” with the herpes zoster virus.
Can Zostavax Cause Shingles?
Yes. Shingles and chickenpox are listed as possible side effects on the current label for Zostavax. The vaccine contains a live virus that is “attenuated,” meaning it has been weakened, but may still replicate or mutate. Zostavax is also 14X stronger than the chickenpox vaccine given to children.
Can Zostavax Cause Blindness?
Yes. In February 2016, the FDA warned about the risk of “necrotizing retinitis” from Zostavax and ordered new warnings on the label. This side effect occurs when the herpes virus spreads to the eyes. The infection can cause severe inflammation, tissue death (necrosis), progressive vision loss, and blindness.
Shingles Vaccine Deaths
As of September 2015, there have been 1,141 serious adverse events involving shingles vaccines since 1990, including 90 deaths. About 40% of deaths involved seniors over 70, according to the National Vaccine Injury Center (NVIC).
Complications of Chickenpox & Shingles
- Congestive heart failure
- Varicella pneumonia
- Guillain-Barré Syndrome
- Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM)
Neurological disorders and brain inflammation (encephalitis) are severe complications of shingles infections in the brain. The infection can cause permanent brain damage, with lifelong paralysis, hearing or balance problems.
Herpetic neuralgia is the most common serious complication of shingles. It occurs when the shingles virus attacks and destroys nerve fibers in the skin, resulting in excruciating chronic pain in about 1 out of 5 people who develop shingles.
Postherpetic Neuralgia (PHN)
Post-Herpetic Neuralgia (PHN) is pain that persists for months, years, or permanently after the shingles rash goes away. It is estimated to occur in up to 74% of people over 60 years old who develop shingles, often resulting in permanent disability or decreased quality of life.
Myelitis is a complication of shingles that involves spinal cord inflammation, usually after the shingles rash goes away. It can cause severe muscle weakness, chronic pain, abnormal sensations like tingling or numbness, incontinence, muscle spasms, and more.
Shingles infections on the face can cause inflammation of nerve fibers that control muscles in the face, resulting in Bell’s Palsy — facial paralysis. Victims may suffer from drooping facial muscles, drooling, chronic pain in the face or jaw, and changes in tears, saliva, or taste.
Vision loss and blindness are severe complications of shingles infections in the eyes. Some victims also develop permanent vision problems as a result of retinal damage (“necrotizing retinitis”). Vision loss occurs in about 20-30% of people who get shingles in the eyes.
Shingles infections in the ears can cause hearing loss or permanent deafness. Hearing problems are most likely when the shingles rash spreads to the face or ears. Approximately 1 out of 3 people who develop shingles near their ears will suffer hearing loss. It can be temporary or permanent. In most cases, only one ear is affected.
Zostavax Not Covered by Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP)
It is important to note that Zostavax is not covered by the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) because it is not routinely given to children. That means people who were injured by Zostavax must seek compensation by filing a civil lawsuit against Merck & Co.
Need a Zostavax Lawyer in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our Texas Zostavax lawyers for a free lawsuit review.