Shingles Vaccine Lawsuit LawyersThe Merck shingles vaccine Zostovax can cause shingles. Other “side effects” can include necrotizing retinitis (an eye disorder), seizures, and even death. Shingles, as well as chickenpox, can result in serious damage to the nervous system, including conditions like meningitis, encephalitis, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) and stroke. Some people who develop shingles suffer other serious side effects, such as Guillain-Barre syndrome, congestive heart failure, or varicella pneumonia.
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Call us for a free legal consultation if you suffered serious side effects or lost a loved one after vaccination with the Merck shingles vaccine. Contact us if you contracted shingles within two years of taking the vaccine and developed neurological problems within six months of taking the vaccine.
Common Shingles Vaccine Side Effects
More common side effects of Zostavax include injection site reactions (pain, redness, itching, swelling, warmth, bruising), headache, diarrhea, joint or muscle pain, or skin rash.
What is the Shingles Vaccine?
Merck’s Zostavax is a shingles vaccine approved by the FDA May 25, 2006 for people aged 50 and older for prevention of herpes zoster (shingles). However, there is some confusion regarding age and approved use, as the CDC reports Merck’s shingles vaccine is recommended for those aged 60 and older, despite FDA’s initially approving it for people 50 and older. (What’s a few years among guinnea pigs?)
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)
The CDC reports that after considering all available evidence, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) refused to recommend the use of herpes zoster vaccine for adults 50-59. ACIP reaffirmed its previous recommendation that herpes zoster vaccine be recommended for adults aged 60 and older.
Vaccination of People Under 60 Not Licensed
ACIP notes the shingles “vaccine is not licensed for persons aged <60 years, and no recommendation exists for routine vaccination of persons aged <60 years. In the clinical trial, the zoster vaccine was evaluated among persons aged >60 years. The vaccine was most effective and (in) the youngest persons. (Data) are insufficient to recommend vaccination of these persons.”
The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) says Merck’s product is the only live virus shingles vaccine currently available.
Shingles Vaccination ProblemsMerck’s live shingles vaccine has some problems. Merck reports the Zostavax shingles vaccine lowers the risk of shingles by about 51 percent. That is a woeful percentage by any stretch, given the dangerous risks of any vaccination; but Merck’s shingles shot can also cause the disease which it it is advertised to prevent. (Really? Yeah, you read that right.)
Shingles Vaccine Causes Shingles
The Zostavax shingles vaccine can cause shingles, and also chickenpox. In August 2014, Merck was told by FDA to add the “side effect” of “shingles” to Zostavax’ vaccine warnings. (Perhaps people still get jabbed with it after that warning because they’ve been conditioned by decades of propaganda campaigns to believe that getting the disease from the vaccine is milder than getting it without? Seems one must have a pretty negative mindset about the efficacy of one’s own immune system to follow that particular logic, but go figure.) Other current warnings for adverse outcomes may insufficiently alert the patients Merck targets for its shingles shot.
Shingles Vaccine Deaths
The National Vaccine Information Center says Merck’s shingles vaccine may also be linked with fatalities. NCIV analysis found more than 1,100 serious adverse event reports for shingles vaccine made to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System from 1990 to 2015. Ninety (90) of these reports linked deaths with the shingles vaccine.
Why a Shingles Vaccination?
Chickenpox and shingles can both trigger serious damage to the nervous system. Meningitis, encephalitis, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) and stroke could possibly result from a shingles outbreak. Serious shingles “side effects” include Guillain-Barre syndrome, congestive heart failure, or varicella pneumonia. Nevertheless, it is fair to ask if the risk-reward of Merck’s shingles vaccine is worth one’s taking the shot. Does the shingles vaccine work?
Live Vaccine Virus
The shingles vaccine contains live varicella zoster virus, which is the chickenpox virus that also causes shingles. The shingles vaccine Merck makes is virtually the same as its chickenpox vaccine, except that the shingles vaccine is some 14x stronger than the chickenpox version. People who have had chickenpox always hold the virus dormant in their bodies. If the immune system weakens later in years, the chickenpox virus can reactivate and cause shingles.
According to Merck Pharmaceuticals, “ZOSTAVAX is a lyophilized preparation of live, attenuated varicella-zoster virus (Oka/Merck) to be reconstituted with sterile diluent to give a single dose suspension with a minimum of 19,400 PFU (plaque forming units) when stored at room temperature for up to 30 minutes.”
Zostavax contains a live form of the virus, a “weakened” or “attenuated” form, which is supposed to stimulate the immune system to keep the virus dormant and prevent a shingles outbreak. But Big Pharma experts report that Merck is working on a recombinant or “non-live” version, which is apparently meant to keep those vaccinated with the shingles virus from developing shingles from the vaccination. The live virus version may be what is causing shingles outbreaks on the vaccinated, as well as some of the other reported problems. Polio cases in the U.S. increased after mass polio vaccination with a live virus. Jonas Salk announced that the live polio vaccine was the primary cause of polio cases in the U.S. from 1961-2000, Merck’s live shingles vaccine may be helping drive the increase in shingles cases among Americans 50 and older.
Two Clinical Studies
Merck lists just two clinical studies which it did before launching the shingles vaccine. One was a Zostovax Efficacy and Safety Trial (ZEST) in people aged 50 to 59. The other was a Shingles Prevention Study (SPS) in subjects 60 and older.
Some Vaccine Injured Adults can sue Vaccine Makers
Unlike the 1986 law (the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act) that vaccinates vaccine makers from civil liability for government-recommended vaccines for children that are also used by adults, vaccine injuries sustained by adults from vaccines used exclusively by adults (like shingles and PNEUMOVAX 23 vaccines) can pursue civil lawsuits against vaccine makers and negligent doctors in vaccine injury cases.
Free Legal Consultation
Call us for a free legal consultation if you suffered serious side effects or lost a loved one after vaccination with the Merck shingles vaccine.