You’re at risk for getting shingles if you had the chickenpox as a child or adult. Almost 1 in 3 adults in the United States will get shingles in their lifetime. Shingles is a painful, itchy rash with shooting pain. It is a reactivation of the chickenpox virus, and it can happen without warning. Sometimes, it only affects one side of the body.
Shingles is an unpredictable condition and can flare up without warning. For this reason, people often get vaccinated to decrease their chances of the virus reactivating. The first shingles vaccine to gain approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was Zostavax. Although Zostavax was approved to prevent shingles in adults, many people who got the vaccine still ended up with shingles, or worse, they suffered more severe complications. The manufacturer of Zostavax, Merck, is now facing dozens of lawsuits that accuse the company of designing a defective product.
The FDA first approved Zostavax in 2006. The vaccine was approved to prevent shingles in adults 60 years of age or older and, later, in adults 50 years of age or older. Thousands of people in the US have received the Zostavax vaccine since it came to market more than a decade ago. Some of those people have gone on to file lawsuits against the manufacturer after they experienced adverse side effects.
Over one hundred Zostavax lawsuits have been filed in federal court and consolidated in multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. These lawsuits allege pharmaceutical giant Merck manufactured a defective product and failed to warn about its risks. Today, Zostavax lawsuits continue to be filed across the country in state and federal courts.
If you or someone you love received Zostavax and then developed shingles or another serious complication, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The experienced attorneys at KBA Attorneys can help you through the legal process if you qualify for a claim.
Zostavax, zoster vaccine live, is approved to protect adults ages 50 and older from the shingles virus. The vaccine is manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Merck and is typically administered in a doctor’s office or pharmacy. Zostavax is designed to boost the immune system and protect against herpes zoster, also known as shingles. The vaccine is made up of a weakened strain of the chickenpox virus, which means adults receiving the vaccine are actually getting injected with a weak dose of the chickenpox.
The chickenpox virus (varicella-zoster virus) is the same virus that causes shingles. After a person gets the chickenpox, the virus retreats into the body and lies dormant for the next several years, sometimes for the person’s entire lifetime. The virus will reactivate years later and cause shingles in about 30 percent of adults in the US.
Healthcare providers are unsure why the virus sometimes reactivates in adulthood. Shingles is a painful, itchy rash that usually presents on only one side of the body. Because shingles are painful and unpredictable, many people choose to get vaccinated against the virus.
Although it was the first shingles vaccine approved by the FDA, Zostavax is not the preferred vaccine of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the CDC, Zostavax shingles vaccine is only about 51 percent effective in protecting against shingles.
The CDC does not recommend Zostavax as the number one shingles vaccine; instead, the agency prefers a newer vaccine called Shingrix. Shingrix has been shown to be up to 91 percent effective, compared to Zostavax, which is only about 51 percent effective.
Effectiveness is essential because although shingles aren’t usually life-threatening, the virus can cause potentially dangerous complications. One of these complications is called postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), which is severe pain where the shingles rash had developed. PHN can cause debilitating pain that can last for several weeks to months, potentially even years.
Zostavax has been shown to protect against PHN, and clinical trials have demonstrated the vaccine can reduce the risk of PHN by about 67 percent. Shingrix still protects against PHN better than Zostavax though, reducing the risk by over 90 percent.
Shingles can cause other severe complications in addition to PHN, including:
People with a weakened immune system or other risk factors might be at an increased risk for getting shingles. You may be more likely to develop shingles if you had the chickenpox and:
There are many possible side effects associated with the Zostavax vaccine. The most common of these occur near the injections site. These side effects may include redness, pain, swelling, a hard lump, warmth, bruising, and headache.
Other potential Zostavax side effects include:
Some individuals may experience a mild, chickenpox-like rash near the injection site after getting Zostavax. If this happens, the rash should be covered until it goes away. There are no recorded incidents of people getting chickenpox from someone who got a shingles vaccine; is it safe to be around infants, young children, pregnant women, and people with weakened immune systems after receiving the shingles vaccine. Anyone who develops one or more of these potential side effects of Zostavax should seek medical advice and consult a doctor about their symptoms.
Fill out this form for a FREE, immediate, Case Evaluation
Please read these Terms and Conditions ("Terms", "Terms and Conditions") carefully before using the https://www.kbaattorneys.com/ website (the "Service") operated by KBA Attorneys ("us", "we", or "our").
Your access to and use of the Service is conditioned on your acceptance of and compliance with these Terms. These Terms apply to all visitors, users and others who access or use the Service.
By accessing or using the Service you agree to be bound by these Terms. If you disagree with any part of the terms then you may not access the Service. The materials contained in this web site are protected by applicable copyright and trade mark law.
The materials and information contained within the Service is of a general, informational nature but does not constitute legal or professional advice and should not be constituted as such. Use of the Service in any way, does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Except as required by law, neither KBA Attorneys nor its affiliated firms or businesses accept any responsibility and shall not be liable for any damages (direct, indirect, incidental, special, consequential or exemplary), resulting from the use of this Service. This includes, but is not limited to, damages (for loss of profits, goodwill, use, data or other intangible losses) resulting from the use of or inability to use the Service or its contents or from any interruption or delay in access to the Service for whatever reason.
Note also that sending an e-mail to our office does not create a lawyer-client relationship, and none will be formed unless there is an expressed agreement between the firm and the client. Therefore, we strongly advise you against sending confidential or privileged information to us until you can establish such a relationship.
Our Service may contain links to third-party websites or services that are not owned or controlled by KBA Attorneys
KBA Attorneys has no control over, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, privacy policies, or practices of any third party websites or services. You further acknowledge and agree that KBA Attorneys shall not be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with use of or reliance on any such content, goods or services available on or through any such websites or services.
We strongly advise you to read the terms and conditions and privacy policies of any third-party websites or services that you visit.
These Terms shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of Maryland and Virgina, United States, without regard to its conflict of law provisions.
Our failure to enforce any right or provision of these Terms will not be considered a waiver of those rights. If any provision of these Terms is held to be invalid or unenforceable by a court, the remaining provisions of these Terms will remain in effect. These Terms constitute the entire agreement between us regarding our Service, and supersede and replace any prior agreements we might have between us regarding the Service.
We reserve the right, at our sole discretion, to modify or replace these Terms at any time. If a revision is material we will try to provide at least 30 days notice prior to any new terms taking effect. What constitutes a material change will be determined at our sole discretion.
By continuing to access or use our Service after those revisions become effective, you agree to be bound by the revised terms. If you do not agree to the new terms, please stop using the Service.
If you have any questions about these Terms, please contact us.