According to the Center for Disease Control, Zostavax is a medication that was licensed in 2006 to treat shingles. It is administered through a shot and only one dose is given to protect individuals from acquiring shingles. While the product is marketed as a safeguard against the shingles virus, the vaccine has caused adverse effects in some patients. The product maker is currently battling several lawsuits alleging that Zostavax made some individuals extremely sick. Here’s what you need to know about the current Zostavax lawsuit and what you can do to get help if you have been affected by the medication.
What is the Shingles Vaccine Lawsuit?
The shingles vaccine lawsuit is a consolidation of several individual lawsuits that have been brought forth by patients across the United States who have suffered adverse effects after being administered the shingles vaccine. The original lawsuit was brought forth by a patient in South Carolina who stated that two months after administration of the shingles vaccine, they not only acquired the shingles virus (which the medication was supposed to prevent) they also experienced irreversible health damage, including loss of eyesight and complete hearing loss, which was later determined to be permanent.
Since the initial court filing, the number of patients alleging irrevocable health damage due to the shingles vaccine has grown considerably. The symptoms experienced by these individuals have been moderate to severe and include:
- Contraction of the shingles virus
- Brain damage
- Liver failure
Most individuals began experiencing serious side effects within six months of administration of the medication. The current lawsuit against the vaccine states that the company that makes the vaccine failed to warn of the serious adverse effects that can be experienced upon taking the drug. The lawsuit also targets the fact that the vaccine claims to provide protection against the shingles vaccine when instead, many individuals ended up contracting the disease.
How Does Zostavax Make People Sick?
Zostavax claimed to work by injecting a weakened version of the live virus that causes shingles (varicella-zoster) into the body. This weakened version creates a response to the virus, without the individual actually acquiring the virus. This immune response would then result in the body building immunity to shingles.
Individuals who became sick after using Zostavax did not build immunity to the disease. A report by Harvard University found that individuals who are older have an increased risk of shingles immunity suppression. Individuals who are 50-59 years of age have a 70% chance of the vaccine working to provide immunity, while those who are 70 and over have less than a 50% chance that the vaccine will provide immunity.
Secondly, the vaccine has the potential to stop working after a certain period of time, leaving patients open to contracting the disease, even after they thought they were protected. And, lastly, individuals who have compromised immune systems have a greater risk for contracting shingles through the vaccine, rather than being protected from it.
I have been Harmed by the Shingles Vaccine. How Can I Get Help?
If you or a loved one has suffered adverse effects after administration of the shingles vaccine, you should reach out to a personal injury lawyer in your area. They can discuss your case with you and determine whether you may be eligible for monetary compensation.