Shingles is a painful rash with blisters that adults over age 50 can prevent with a simple vaccine. But, they may need to make an informed decision on which vaccine will work the best for them. With nearly one in three adults in the United States expected to develop shingles at some point in their life—and one million diagnoses every year—there are plenty of people affected who would benefit from getting vaccinated. However, there are three reasons why Zostavax is an inferior vaccine option to Shingrix—starting with the fact that it is not available in the U.S. due to its adverse side effects and that Shingrix is far more effective.
- Negative Side Effects
One side effect of Zostavax that cannot be ignored is the potential to cause death, which is why it was ultimately discontinued. Other side effects it can cause are blindness, chickenpox, nerve damage, and paralysis. It can also cause necrotizing retinitis, meningoencephalitis, brain injury, and even the shingles virus itself (which defeats the purpose of getting the vaccine in the first place). Thus the benefits of the Zostavax vaccine do not outweigh the risks in this case.
- Zostavax is Discontinued in the U.S.
Zostavax has been discontinued in the U.S. since July of 2020, ultimately making it harder to access than Shingrix, which is the only other shingles vaccine option readily available on the market.
- Shingrix is a Far More Effective Option—and the Only One
Shingrix is the only vaccine for shingles available in the U.S. since Zostavax has been discontinued. Fortunately, Shingrix is the more effective option between the two vaccines. Zostavax reduced the risk of shingles by only 51%, according to the CDC. However, Shingrix blows those numbers out of the water with more than 90% efficacy. Not only is Shingrix more effective, but its side effects are only moderate – such as pain or irritation at the injection site. Most importantly, it does not carry the same risks of death, blindness, or nerve damage, to name a few of the worst side effects accompanying Zostavax vaccines. Some of the other common side effects of Shingrix include fatigue, headache, chills, fever, and upset stomach—all mild to moderate and considered tolerable in exchange for a highly effective vaccine.
Shingrix is an all-around better option, and the CDC recommends people get it even if they are not sure if they have previously had chickenpox or have already had shingles. The CDC also endorses people who already received a Zostavax vaccine to still get Shingrix because it is so much more effective and safe.
How We Help Zostavax Victims
Seek justice with the help of our experienced attorneys. Our Dallas, Texas, prescription drug law firm has battled drug companies on behalf of individuals like you for 20 years, aggressively fighting to hold them responsible for dangerous products. If you or a loved one suffered catastrophic injury or death caused by Zostavax, we can help.