Zostavax Shingles Vaccine Lawsuit

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Trying to understand the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine Lawsuit?  Zostavax is a vaccine designed to prevent shingles, an extremely painful rash similar to chickenpox. This vaccine, approved by the FDA in May 2006 for adults 50 years old and over, is manufactured by Merck.  The sales data indicates that Zostavax earned Merck as much as over $600 Million each year.  It is estimated that the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine has made Merck billions of dollars.

After approval, the FDA began receiving reports that Americans were suffering complications as a result of the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine.  Thousands of injuries were reported ranging from shingles, postherpetic neuralgia, nerve damage, vision loss, hearing loss, vertigo/imbalance, heart attacks, strokes, and even death.  These injuries have been seen as early as days after the vaccine and as late as six months after.  The injuries can resolve over time or be permanent.

Shingrix is a new shingles vaccine that was approved by the FDA in 2018.  Shingrix is considered to be safer and more effective than Zostavax.  The U.S. Center for Disease Control has recommended that Americans ask their pharmacist for Shingrix over Zostavax.

Potts Law Firm is currently accepting cases for individuals who suffered complications from the Zostavax shingles vaccine. If you or a loved one suffered complications from the Zostavax shingles vaccine, contact Potts Law Firm for a free legal consultation.

COMMON DAMAGES
  • Shingles
  • Postherpetic Neuralgia (the burning that continues long after the shingles rash clears)
  • Nerve Pain
  • Vision Loss
    • Retinitis (nerve damage to the eye’s retina)
    • Retinal Necrosis
  • Hearing Loss
  • Vertigo & Inner Ear Nerve Damage
  • Cardiovascular Injuries
    • Heart Attack
    • Stroke
  • Neurological Infections
    • Meningitis (nerve damage or inflammation to the brain and spinal cord)
    • Encephalitis (nerve damage or inflammation to the brain)
  • Disseminated Varicella (when the shingles virus spreads to other organs)
  • Secondary bacterial infections from the shingles rash
  • Death
Frequently Asked Questions
What side effects have been reported with Zostavax Shingles Vaccine?

Zostavax is a vaccine designed to prevent shingles, an extremely painful rash similar to chickenpox. This vaccine, approved by the FDA in May 2006 for adults 50 years old and over, is manufactured by Merck, Inc. Recently, it has been discovered that not only is the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine not that helpful in preventing shingles, it can also lead to very serious side effects, including death. If you or a loved one has been exposed to shingles from the Zostavax vaccine, you may wish to consult with our Zostavax Shingles Vaccine attorneys at The Potts Law Firm for a free case consultation.

 

 

What is the History of the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine?

Merck is the pharmaceutical company that researched, designed, manufactured, and sold the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine.  Merck had previously created the Varivax chickenpox vaccine which contains the live chickenpox virus that is the same virus found in shingles.  The virus is called the varicella zoster virus, or VZV.  In order to create Zostavax, Merck simply copied the Varivax vaccine and increased the dosage of the virus.  The increase of the virus was because Zostavax would be used in adults whose body mass is larger than children who received the Varivax vaccine.

The vaccine was approved by the FDA in 2006 and Merck immediately began selling Zostavax to the public.  The sales data indicates that Zostavax earned Merck as much as over $600 Million each year.  It is estimated that the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine has made Merck billions of dollars.

Shortly after approving the vaccine, the FDA began receiving hundreds, and then thousands, of complaints about Zostavax.  The complaints ranged from injection site complications, such as redness and soreness, to vaccine-caused injuries such as shingles, postherpetic neuralgia (permanent nerve damage), necrotizing retinitis (damage to the retina causing vision loss), inner ear damage (resulting in dizziness and hearing loss), and brain and spinal cord nerve damage caused by the vaccine.

The complaints made relating to the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine caused Merck to add language to the vaccine’s label that it could cause shingles and necrotizing retinitis.  These additional warnings, however, were added too late (2014 and 2016, respectively) after millions were injected with Zostavax.  In addition, the new language was wholly inadequately to warn the public of the possibility of injury due to Zostavax.

In 2018, the FDA approved a different shingles vaccine by pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.  The new vaccine, called Shingrix, was much safer and more effective than Merck’s Zostavax.  The increased safety and efficacy was because Shingrix was made by extracting the DNA of the VZV virus and placing it into a fluid to make the injection.  By only containing the DNA of the virus, as opposed to the live virus itself, the body is not able to contract the virus.  Shingrix was so much safer and more effective than Zostavax that immediately after Shingrix was approved by the FDA, the U.S. Center for Disease Control recommended that Americans over the age of 50 should request Shingrix, and not Zostavax.

Since the CDC’s decision, Zostavax sales have plummeted.

What is the status of the litigation relating to the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine?

Numerous Zostavax Shingles Vaccine lawsuits have been filed across the nation. In April 2018, Merck requested that these lawsuits be consolidated into one court – also called a Multi-district Litigation.

What kind of compensation can I expect from a Zostavax Shingles Vaccine Lawsuit?

Typically, vaccine cases are covered by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act.  In the 1980s, pharmaceutical companies were being sued for injuries their vaccines were causing American children.  These vaccines were not profitable for the companies so they stopped manufacturing and selling them.  The U.S. Government, however, found that the benefit of vaccinating the children in this country was important.  Therefore, the government agreed to compensate anyone who has suffered an injury due to a vaccine, thus shielding pharmaceutical companies from liability or having to pay damages.

A case involving the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine, however, is not part of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Program.  As such, it is treated as any other pharmaceutical drug in the United States.  Anyone who was injured by a pharmaceutical drug has the right to bring a lawsuit against the company in a court of law.  The Potts Law Firm has filed several cases against Merck relating to the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine outside of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Program without difficulty.

Does my Zostavax Shingles Vaccine case qualify?

The Potts Law Firm is representing those injured by the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine.  In order to qualify for representation, your case must meet the following parameters:

  • You received the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine in 2006 or after;
  • You were over the age of 50 years old when you were injected with the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine;
  • Your injury began shortly after you received the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine but not more than one year after the injection; and
  • You did not suffer from any immunocompromising conditions, such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, or blood disorders, at the time of your injection of the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine.
How does Zostavax Shingles Vaccine Cause Complications?

Typically a vaccine contains particles of a killed-off virus. When the vaccine is injected into your body, your immune system reacts and creates antibodies to fight the virus. Since the vaccine doesn’t contain a live virus, the patient doesn’t the disease from the vaccine.

However, the Zostavax shingles vaccine is an active vaccine comprised of live viruses which can cause shingles and other serious complications.

Can Zostavax Shingles Vaccine Lead to Death?

Yes. According to the National Vaccine Information Center (NCIV), more than 1,100 serious adverse events related to Zostavax shingles vaccine were reported. At least 90 of these were deaths associated with the shingles vaccine.

Why Contact Potts Law Firm?

At Potts Law Firm, your case will be investigated thoroughly. Vaccine cases are very complex and require only the most skilled lawyers to litigate. Potts Law Firm is comprised of highly respected and experienced attorneys with superior staff to work on your case. Our team has a proven track record of national results.

We will request the medical records on your behalf and our experienced medical team will analyze the records and assist your lawyers throughout the case. In addition, a legal professional will be available to assist you with the entire process.

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