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We hold pharmaceutical companies responsible for drug-induced illness.

Zostavax

We represent people sickened by the Zostavax Vaccine.

The Zostavax® vaccine may cause several major side effects, including shingles,
blindness, and death. Although the vaccine is approved for older adults, it is only about 50 percent effective, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA approved Zostavax in 2006 as a vaccine intended to prevent shingles in adults 50 years of age and older. However, the CDC recommends only administering the vaccine to those healthy adults who are over the age of 59. Until 2017, Zostavax was the only vaccine on the market licensed to prevent the shingles virus or herpes zoster. The pharmaceutical manufacturer Merck & Co. makes the Zostavax vaccine. It is administered as a one-time injectable dose at a doctor’s office or pharmacy, and the effectiveness only lasts for five years.

Symptoms of the shingles virus manifest along one side of the body as a painful rash. The skin may also blister. Shingles is caused by the chickenpox virus or varicella zoster. Chickenpox can remain dormant in your nerve tissues for years and may reactivate when your immune system weakens with age or illness.

Zostavax, a live vaccine, contains a live but weakened strain of the chickenpox virus. This small amount of live virus activates the immune system. By fighting this strain of chickenpox or varicella zoster virus, the patient can generally build up immunity and prevent shingles.

Several side effects may occur after taking Zostavax, some are minimal while others are fatal. Most people receiving Zostavax experience little to no negative reactions. However, this is not true for people who have a suppressed immune system. The vaccine can be particularly dangerous for patients with autoimmune diseases such as AIDS and cancers like leukemia and lymphoma.

People with severe allergies to gelatin and antibiotic neomycin and those who are pregnant should not receive the Zostavax vaccine, the CDC warns.

The package insert on file with the FDA lists the following possible Zostavax side effects:

  • Death
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Shingles
  • Headache
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Chickenpox
  • Hives & Rash
  • Joint & Muscle Pain
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Nerve Damage & Paralysis
  • Serious Cardiovascular Events
  • Necrotizing Retinitis & Blindness
  • Meningoencephalitis & Brain Injury

People across the country have filed Zostavax lawsuits. Plaintiffs involved in these cases allege that they suffered serve reactions after receiving the Zostavax vaccine. They also argue that pharmaceutical maker Merck & Co. knew about the side effects but failed to warn the public. The plaintiffs claim that had they been warned of the potential risks, they may not have chosen to be vaccinated. One complaint notes that between 2006 and 2015, over 1,000 reports were made to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) for shingles vaccines. The complications reported to VAERS even include death.

How Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel can help people sickened by Zostavax

For over 20 years, Waters Kraus Paul & Siegel has represented people affected by unsafe products, such as dangerous pharmaceuticals and faulty medical devices. We are the only plaintiffs’ law firm to obtain a verdict in a PPA (phenylpropanolamine)/stroke case against Bayer, the pharmaceutical maker. Our drug injury lawyers stood up for families whose children suffered blistering skin reactions after taking prescription drugs. With a national presence and a wealth of experience, our firm has the resources to champion your case in any court in the country. To have one of our lawyers review your potential Zostavax case, email us or call 800.226.9880.

Side Effects Linked to Zostavax:

  • Death
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Shingles
  • Headache
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Chickenpox
  • Hives & Rash
  • Joint & Muscle Pain
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Nerve Damage & Paralysis
  • Serious Cardiovascular Events
  • Necrotizing Retinitis & Blindness
  • Meningoencephalitis & Brain Injury

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