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Zostavax Lawsuit Lawyers

Multiple lawsuits and mass tort cases against Merck Pharmaceuticals are pending due to the dangers of Zostavax. The well-known shingles vaccine uses live, weakened forms of the shingles and chickenpox viruses to boost the immune system and protect against shingles.

Plaintiffs around the country are alleging the vaccine causes dizziness, headaches, and blurred vision within hours of the shot. Many also reported diagnoses of permanent disorders and diseases after receiving the vaccine. If you were injured or developed a serious medical condition after getting the Zostavax vaccine, do not hesitate to contact Spiros Law, P.C..

Since 2005, the experienced national defective drugs and devices attorneys of Spiros Law, P.C. have fought for injured clients nationwide. We represent people harmed by others’ misconduct. That misconduct could take the form of a pharmaceutical company providing defective or dangerous drugs to the public. When you hire us, we will work with you closely to understand the circumstances of your case and create a strategy to hold the negligent manufacturer liable.

Call Spiros Law, P.C. at (217) 328-2828 for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help you.

How Zostavax Works

Anyone can get shingles, but the chance increases in people who are older, have a weakened immune system, or previously had chicken pox. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated one million people develop shingles annually in the United States. Approximately one in three people are diagnosed with shingles in their lifetime.

Shingles, also called herpes zoster, appears as a rash on one side of the body or face. The rash can affect the eyes and lead to vision loss if it develops on the face. Sometimes, it’s more widespread and can form on multiple areas of the body, appearing like a chickenpox rash. Typically, the rash contains blisters that scab over within seven to ten days and clears up within two to four weeks.

The virus is painful because of nerve inflammation along the path of the rash. Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) is common after the rash heals, causing chronic and severe pain that can last months or years.

In 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Zostavax to reduce the risk of shingles in older adults. The vaccine is a single dose injection under the skin of the upper arm. It contains a weakened varicella-zoster (chicken pox) virus that helps the immune system protect against shingles from developing in the body.

Zostavax is recommended for people at least 60 years old. In a study published by the National Library of Medicine, half of the 38,000 participants received a placebo, and the other half received Zostavax. Researchers followed the participants for about three years after the initial injection to determine if they developed shingles and how long the pain lasted.

The results showed the vaccine had a 51.3 percent efficacy against shingles in those 60 and older. For participants between 60 and 69, the vaccine was 63.9 percent effective. However, the effectiveness decreased in older groups, with individuals 80 years old and older showing only 18 percent efficacy against herpes zoster.

The study also found that people who developed shingles experienced pain for a shorter duration than those who received the placebo. On average, the pain lasted for around twenty days. Participants in the placebo group experienced pain for around twenty-two days. However, the severity of the pain didn’t differ between those groups. Zostavax also reduced the frequency of PHN in adults at least 70 years old who developed shingles.

Common Side Effects of Zostavax

Zostavax can cause side effects like any other vaccine. The most common side effects of Zostavax include

  • Headache
  • Bruising, pain, redness, swelling, or itching at the injection site

Some patients report additional side effects, such as:

  • Nausea
  • Chickenpox
  • Joint pain
  • Shingles
  • Allergic reactions
  • Muscle pain
  • Injection site rash
  • Fever
  • Hives at the injection site
  • Swollen glands near the injection site

Serious Complications of Zostavax

Multiple problems are associated with Zostavax. The shingles vaccine does not protect everyone from developing shingles. There are also concerns over the declining efficacy within the first five years.

Shingles can form in people who get the vaccine intended to reduce the risk of the illness. Complications can also arise after injection, such as:

  • Hearing loss
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Stroke
  • Cardiovascular issues
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Vasculitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Herpetic neuralgia
  • Vision problems, such as eye infections, blindness, and retinal damage
  • Inflammation of the spinal cord
  • Neurological diseases, including encephalitis
  • Nerve disorder
  • Autoimmune disorders, including Meniere’s Disease, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy
  • PHN

In a study conducted by the University of Missouri School of Medicine, researchers discovered a link between Zostavax and keratitis, inflammation of the cornea. Although rare, the vaccine can reactivate keratitis in those with a history of the condition. It can cause severe complications and lead to permanent vision damage if left untreated.

Pursuing a Mass Tort Lawsuit Against Merck

You might qualify for a lawsuit against Merck if you developed a serious complication after receiving the Zostavax vaccination. Plaintiffs throughout the country are joining mass tort cases to hold the manufacturer liable for complications resulting from taking the vaccine.

A mass tort case involves a group of people harmed under the same circumstances by a defective or dangerous product. In a mass tort involving a dangerous drug like Zostavax, multiple plaintiffs bring legal action against the same defendant for similar injuries.

Unlike a class action that combines individual cases into a single lawsuit against one defendant, mass tort litigation allows each plaintiff to maintain a separate lawsuit. If enough lawsuits are filed, filing a motion to consolidate them into multidistrict litigation (MDL) is possible.

MDL transfers each civil lawsuit into one federal district court. The federal district judge decides whether to accept or dismiss the cases they receive. They oversee discovery and pretrial motions in the cases they approve.

Whether you join a mass tort case or pursue an individual lawsuit, the compensation you receive might cover your:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Hospitalization, prescriptions, and other medical expenses
  • Out-of-pocket costs
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity

You might also recover exemplary or punitive damages. This financial award punishes the defendant for their actions.

How Spiros Law, P.C. Can Help

Spiros Law, P.C. can protect your rights and fight to recover maximum compensation in a lawsuit against Merck. We will review the circumstances of your case and determine whether you’re eligible to hold the manufacturer accountable for the harm it caused.

If you experienced the harmful effects of Zostavax after receiving a vaccination, call Spiros Law, P.C. at (217) 328-2828 for a free consultation today. An experienced Zostavax lawyer is ready to help you seek the justice you deserve.