Until October 2017, the Zostavax shingles vaccine was the only preventative drug available to prevent shingles in seniors. It is still the only live virus shingles vaccine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). However, many who took the vaccine are now taking action against the drug’s manufacturer after they claim they suffered shingles outbreaks as well as other serious complications after receiving the vaccine.
At Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., a Zostavax shingles vaccine lawsuit lawyer can help you review your case and determine if you have a viable claim against Zostavax’s manufacturer, Merck & Co., Inc.
If you or a loved one suffered complications related to this shingles vaccine, you can reach our office at 800-550-0000. We offer complimentary consultations, and handle all defective drug claims on a contingency basis. This means you pay nothing unless we recover a payout on your behalf.
What Do I Need to Know About the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine?
Shingles outbreaks can occur in anyone who has had chickenpox. The chickenpox virus lies dormant in a person’s body for decades at a time. Usually, it remains that way from childhood, and never reappears. In some people, though, the virus becomes reactivated and symptoms appear. This is the same infection as chickenpox, but shingles can be much more difficult to manage in an older adult population than it is in children.
Zostavax, approved for ages 50 and up in the U.S., utilizes a live but weakened form of the virus to expose the immune system and prompt it to hopefully continue fighting the virus.
While Zostavax was revolutionary as the first shingle vaccine, it has also been linked to a whole host of injuries. These include contracting shingles — the very infection consumers use Zostavax to fight — which causes painful rashes and blisters as well as other symptoms. Some of the lawsuits against Merck & Co., Inc. include cases where the vaccine caused blindness and joint pain.
Are Regulatory Agencies Doing Anything About the Zostavax Side Effects?
According to the FDA, Zostavax side effects may include:
- Developing shingles or chickenpox
- An extremely painful rash
- Muscle and joint pain
- Necrotizing retinitis and other eye disorders
While Zostavax can cause a number of health concerns, the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) both recommended it when it was the only shingles vaccine on the market. The benefits outweighed the risks.
These recommendations changed, however, when Shingrix hit the market. GlaxoSmithKline PLC asked the FDA for regulatory approval in October 2016. Just a few days after it gained approval, the CDC began recommending the newer vaccine to all seniors eligible to receive the shot.
Not only does this new drug appear to be safer, but it seems to be much more effective. One study published by the American Pharmacists Association found Zostavax was 49.1 percent effective, on average. This varied from 67.5 percent during the first year and to only 31 percent by years seven and eight. Another study found the new drug is much more effective, and so far seems to be safer as well.
What Is the Current Status of the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine Lawsuits?
Merck & Co., Inc., the manufacturer the Zostavax shingles vaccine, faces lawsuits alleging some of those who received the shots developed shingles because of the live virus in the vaccine. These lawsuits are still in the very early stages, and many people are just now considering if their vaccine could have caused their illness. Others who lost family members because of severe infections or weakened immune systems are also coming forward.
The case against Merck & Co., Inc. is currently pending in Superior Court in Middlesex County, New Jersey. This is near the drug manufacturer’s New England headquarters. The case, known as RE: Tammy Anderson et al v. Merck & Co Inc. et al or simply Case No. L-4177-17, and others filed in other areas may face consolidation into multidistrict litigation in the coming months.
Although these cases are still in the early stages, we are currently evaluating and accepting clients who have potentially viable claims against Zostavax and Merck & Co., Inc. Reach out to us today to schedule a free case review or to learn more.
How Can I Discuss My Situation with a Zostavax Shingles Vaccine Lawsuit Lawyer?
At Gacovino, Lake & Associates, P.C., we know how to handle multidistrict litigation, class action, and mass tort cases. If you have a viable claim, we can help you weigh your options for getting the compensation you deserve.
If you or a loved one suffered from shingles after receiving the Zostavax shingles vaccine, we can help you. More so, if you suffered from a severe case that limited your ability to work or caused you to lose your vision, we will be sure to take those losses into consideration when we build your case and file your claim.
To schedule your free case consultation with a Zostavax shingles vaccine lawsuit attorney, call us today at 800-550-0000. We can set up a time for you to talk about your injuries with one of our lawyers, and explain what you may expect from the process and the types of damages we may recover if we can win your case.