Zostavax is an approved vaccination manufactured by Merck Co. Inc. utilized to prevent the contraction of the shingles virus, known as herpes zoster. However, the vaccine has been shown to cause possible serious side effects in those who take it, and has resulted in lawsuits and class action suits against the company for failure to warn of possible dangers associated with the vaccine. If you or a loved one has experienced harm following inoculation with the vaccine, contact Altman & Altman LLP today.
Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox, varicella-zoster, although it is not known exactly why or how the virus – which goes dormant and resides in your body after healing from chickenpox – reoccurs as shingles in people over the age of 50. Regardless, shingles causes a painful rash in those afflicted, and can reoccur numerous times in those susceptible to it.
Symptoms associated with recognized side effects caused by the Zostavax vaccination include:
- Redness, pain, itching, swelling, hard lump, warmth, or bruising where the shot was given.
- Allergic reactions, which may be serious and may include difficulty in breathing or swallowing.
- Contraction of chickenpox
- Hives at the injection site
- Joint pain/muscle pain
- Rash on body, normally at the injection site
- Contraction of shingles
- Swollen glands near the injection site
- Guillain-Barré syndrome (muscle weakness, abnormal sensations, tingling in the arms, legs, and
- Partial facial paralysis
However, these symptoms that are recognized by Merck are not the only symptoms that have been reported by those who have taken the Zostavax vaccine. In fact, there have been much more severe side effects noted that have been reported to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and prompted recent legal action against the company, including:
- Blindness or damage to eyesight, including necrotizing retinitis
- Brain damage
- Death – at least 36 on record
- Gastrointestinal disorders
Reports of these severe side effects prompted the FDA to issue two black box warning changes to Zostavax labels. In February of 2017, the first lawsuit against Zostavax was filed in Philadelphia, claiming that Merck failed to warn people taking its vaccine about possible damage to vision and the ability for the vaccine – which utilizes a weakened form of the chickenpox virus – to actually cause shingles.
While we understand that no medical product will be completely free of risk and completely safe in 100 percent of all cases, there is an important burden of responsibility on manufacturers to exercise extreme diligence when they develop vaccinations and, perhaps more importantly, that they are upfront and truthful about all the potential negative consequences that could occur if someone is to be inoculated by that vaccine.
Further, vaccines are a product like anything else, and some may be manufactured better than others. It is entirely possible that one batch of vaccinations has a weakened virus that is just a fraction stronger than a previous batch, which could have serious consequences on someone who takes the vaccine. Again, this is where strict quality control and attention to safety on the part of the manufacturing company is essential to ensure that people remain healthy.
If you or a loved one received the Zostavax vaccination only to suffer severe negative side effects as a result, contact the Cambridge personal injury attorneys at Altman & Altman LLP today. We have over 50 years of experience advocating on behalf of our clients in Boston and elsewhere in Massachusetts who are victimized by the faulty products or unsafe medical products produced by pharmaceutical giants.
We will take the time to learn about your case and give you the most up-to-date and important legal advice, and give you the best shot at winning a lawsuit or receiving a sizable settlement. Contact us online or call for a free consultation to go over the details of your case today at 617-492-3000 or toll-free at 800-481-6199. We are available 24