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It’s hard to watch television nowadays without running into a commercial for some kind of shingles medication or vaccine — or any other kind of prescription drug for that matter. 

Zostavax is a live shingles vaccine, meaning the injection contains a weakened strain of the virus. While it’s not totally uncommon for people to receive live vaccines (measles, mumps, and MMR are all live vaccines regularly given in the U.S.), live vaccines can cause serious injuries. 

Zostavax was the only shingles vaccine on the market between 2006 and 2017. Merck, the manufacturer of the Zostavax, distributed over 30 million doses of Zostavax during that time. And profited hundreds of millions of dollars from Zostavax sales.

While Merck marketed their shingles vaccine as a safe and effective way to reduce the risk of shingles, the FDA required Merck to warn physicians and potential consumers of possible side effects associated with the injection included: Shingles, chickenpox, headaches, rash, and fever. Since Zostavax has come on the market, additional medical studies have been conducted related to its efficacy and additional side effects not originally included in the FDA label requirements.


Blindness as a Zostavax side effect?

In 2016, the FDA required a new warning be added to Zostavax. The new warning listed a potential side effect-acute retinal necrosis (inflammation of the eye). This may occur even months after the injection of Zostavax and can lead to redness of the eye, light sensitivity, floaters, and decreased vision. Some cases have been so severe to lead to blindness.

Additionally, there has been some association between the Zostavax vaccine and other serious side effects:

  • Bell’s Palsy
  • Autoimmune disorders: Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN)-pain continuing after the shingles blisters subside
  • Brain inflammation
  • Herpetic Neuralgia-nerve disorder


Why you may be eligible to file a Zostavax Shingles Vaccine Lawsuit

Zostavax’s manufacturer Merck has been in legal trouble before, specifically for vaccines. Their rap sheet includes allegedly faking field tests for vaccines of the measles, mumps, and MMR. On top of that, Merck is accused of lying to the FDA about the effectiveness of the vaccines.

Currently, there are lawsuits being filed on behalf of individuals who have suffered serious side effects related to their Zostavax injection. If you believe you or a loved one has suffered severe side effects after being injected with Zostavax, call attorney Stephanie Lyons today at (618) 307-9880 or toll-free at (844) 836-3535.




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