Zostavax®, a shingles vaccine for adults over the age of 50, has been the subject of numerous lawsuits in recent years. Men and women across the U.S. are claiming it can cause serious health problems, including:
- The development of shingles (the virus it’s supposed to prevent)
- Hearing loss
- Blindness or other eye disorders
- Neurological problems
- Cardiovascular issues
- Autoimmune diseases
Lawsuits filed against Merck and Co., the manufacturer of Zostavax, allege that Merck did not disclose all the vaccine’s side effects in their marketing of the drug. If you or a loved one received this vaccine and suffered health problems as a result, you may have a case.
What Is Zostavax?
In 2006, Zostavax became the first shingles vaccine to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Administered as a shot to the upper arm, Zostavax works using a live — but weakened — form of the varicella-zoster virus to decrease the risk of shingles.
Due to its novel approach to fighting shingles, which was thought to be highly effective at the time, Zostavax seemed to be an important breakthrough in the containment of the disease. Over the next 12 years, Zostavax would help Merck earn nearly $750 million in profits.
Though Zostavax was used widely throughout the U.S., it proved after only a few years that it was not as effective as originally thought. An FDA press release noted that the rate of serious complications was higher in those who were given the shot compared to those who received a placebo. Subsequent studies also show that the weakened varicella-zoster virus can grow stronger in the body and lead to diseases.
Take Legal Action
Lawsuits against Merck allege that the company failed to warn patients about the serious side effects beyond a few minor ones such as inflammation at the base of injection or a fever. Plaintiffs claim the vaccine caused many health problems, ranging from shingles, blindness, hearing loss, and high blood pressure to brain damage, liver failure, and even death.
Unfortunately, these cases illustrate only a fraction of the symptoms that have been reported, and serious health problems may persist for months or even years after receiving Zostavax.
If you or a loved one received the Zostavax vaccine and later suffered from serious health problems, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Sokolove Law now for a free legal consultation. Our knowledgeable case managers are available 24/7 to assist you.
ZOSTAVAX is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc.