Have you ever had Chicken Pox? It’s often considered a rite of passage, and once you’ve had Chicken Pox, the shingles virus (herpes zoster) stays with you for the rest of your life. Shingles can be a devastating illness when you are older, but a vaccine promises to help stop the virus in its tracks. However, is Zostavax the helpful solution that the drug manufacturer Merck claims it is?
Is Zostavax a Danger to the Patients?
A woman in Reno, Nevada went to her doctor and received a Zostavax shot. Within 24 hours she was reportedly suffering from headaches, dizziness and blurry vision. Her vision never cleared up, and she is not the only person to experience sudden unforeseen health issues after receiving this vaccine.
Zostavax, which is supposed to protect people from shingles outbreaks, uses a live virus that has been weakened or “attenuated”. If this virus has not been weakened enough, it can cause shingles outbreaks or other complications. Patients that are already sick could suffer nerve damage, pneumonia, hearing loss, vision loss, paralysis or even death.
Did Merck Know About Zostavax’s Risks?
Several lawsuits filed throughout several states have claimed that Merck may have downplayed or even hidden the effects of Zostavax from the public. The company, whose vaccination is partially composed of the active virus, only started listing shingles as a possible side effect in August 2014.
The lawsuits also claim that a CDC report discovered that the vaccine loses effectiveness within five years, and has no effect by seven after the vaccination date. This detail is not mentioned on the product’s labeling, nor does the product quote Merck’s own studies, which show Zostavax is only effective in around 51 percent of inoculated patients.
This means that people all over the country may have suffered adverse effects with no warning from the manufacturer. Considering pharmaceutical companies have a duty to inform consumers of the side effects these products could have, drug companies like this one could be held liable. Discuss your legal rights with an experienced New Jersey pharmaceutical attorney if you think your health problems could be a result of medication you took.