Merck hasn’t sold or produced Zostavax in the US since 2020, but that’s not ending the lawsuits. Numerous lawsuits alleging adverse effects of the shingles vaccination, problems with its efficacy, and complaints about its marketing and advertising are still pending in courts around the nation.
Table of Contents
- 1 What are shingles?
- 2 What is the Zostavax vaccine?
- 3 What are the requirements recommended by the FDA?
- 4 Does Zostavax cause adverse side effects?
- 5 What are the actual life issues associated with Zostavax?
- 6 Merck faces Zostavax lawsuits
- 7 Is Merck winning the goal in the Zostavax case at trial?
- 8 How did Merck falsely promote the vaccine?
- 9 Merck’s negligence towards Zostavax
- 10 What happened in the Zostavax lawsuit 2021?
- 11 Zostavax lawsuit updates 2022
- 12 Who is eligible for the Zostavax lawsuit settlement?
What are shingles?
The varicella-zoster virus is the main cause of shingles. The virus responsible for chickenpox is the same. In the entire country, there are thought to be 1 million or more shingle cases every year. Shingles can affect people of all ages, and the risk increases with age.
The first symptom of shingles is an itching or flaming sensation in a specific area of skin. A few days later, rashes may appear and blisters may emerge. An outbreak can last up to a month. However, in about 20% of cases, patients may experience nerve pain for months or years.
What is the Zostavax vaccine?
The Zostavax vaccine is used to prevent shingles for individuals aged 50 years and older. The vaccine uses a live, weakened form of the chickenpox and shingles viruses. It requires a single shot. The vaccine’s main goal was to boost the immune systems of older adults to protect them against shingles.
The Zostavax vaccine is manufactured by Merck and was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2006. It was the only shingles vaccine approved in the United States until the end of 2017.
What are the requirements recommended by the FDA?
At first, the FDA recommended the vaccine for anyone over 60 who did not have severe allergies to any of its constituents and who complied with the following conditions:
- Do not have a compromised immune system as a result of HIV/AIDS, another disease, or medication.
- No history of cancer affecting the bone marrow or lymphatic system, such as leukemia
- Do not have untreated active Tuberculosis.
Since more than 99% of Americans aged 40 and over have experienced chickenpox, the U.S. ACIP recommended in 2006 that the live vaccine be administered to all individuals age 60 and above, including those who have already experienced shingles and chickenpox.
Does Zostavax cause adverse side effects?
Innumerable health issues have been reported with Zostavax recipients including serious eye disorders, muscle pain, nausea, joint pain, fever, and shingles. The vaccine only works on 50% of people, and even then, it will only last for about six years.
More severe complications also occur due to the Zostavax vaccine, including:
- Congestive heart failure
- Autoimmune disorders
- Spinal cord inflammation
Despite the fact that shingles primarily affects adults in their 60s and older, the virus can reactivate in younger people with weakened immune systems. Those who had chickenpox before becoming 18 months old are also more likely to develop shingles.
A highly contagious rash on one side of the body, along with a fever and pain, are just a few of the potentially catastrophic side effects of this vaccine. Other, much more severe shingles vaccine side effects can also occur. In fact, this virus can endanger the lives of even elderly people by inflicting lasting nerve damage, meningitis, blindness, paralysis, and even spinal cord inflammation.
The Zostavax vaccine exposes immunosuppressed patients to a number of health hazards, including the possibility of contracting chicken pox and shingles themselves.
What are the actual life issues associated with Zostavax?
A Wisconsin woman filed Zostavax lawsuits against Merck, claiming that the vaccination didn’t protect her from shingles as expected and instead gave her repeated shingles outbreaks.
A South Carolina man has filed a Zostavax side effects lawsuit against Zostavax, alleging that he started losing sight in one eye two months after receiving the vaccine. The man was later identified with retinal necrosis or tissue decay in his retina.
Norman Sukkar, a litigant, alleges that Merck’s defective Zostavax vaccine was the main cause of his permanent injuries and that the vaccine poses a serious risk of bodily harm to consumers.
The Merck Zostavax lawsuit claims that the shingles vaccine poses a high risk to individuals. The Zostavax shingles vaccination mostly causes shingles and zoster-related injuries. So, the exact thing that was supposed to protect them from shingles actually gave them shingles.
In the last two years, there have been over 1,000 reports to the FDA of serious horrific events involving the Zostavax vaccine, including reports of 36 deaths.
A recent Zostavax neuropathy lawsuit claims side effects of the shingles vaccine caused a Kentucky woman to develop painful and irreparable nerve damage.https://t.co/pGhMKixzBt#Zostavax #shingles #neuropathy #peripheralneuropathy #merck #shingelsvaccine pic.twitter.com/ghLy47ER0N
— McGartland Law Firm (@LawMcgartland) April 8, 2019
Merck faces Zostavax lawsuits
Zostavax lawsuits have been filed in federal and state courts nationwide against Merck & Co., Inc., the vaccine maker. These Zostavax lawsuits claim that the vaccine causes serious and sometimes fatal side effects. They also allege that Merck failed to properly inform the public and healthcare providers about the risk of developing shingles and other negative effects of the vaccine.
The plaintiffs, who were residents of a number of different states, including Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, Michigan, and Wisconsin, brought their lawsuits in Merck’s home state of New Jersey. All around the nation, litigation over Zostavax has been filed.
Many victims filed Zostavax lawsuits against Merck, alleging that the vaccine manufacturer produced and sold a vaccine that was unreasonably dangerous and caused serious post-vaccination injuries.
Is Merck winning the goal in the Zostavax case at trial?
Since the first instance of a Zostavax class action lawsuit was filed in 2016, many more have been submitted. Case consolidation in federal court by a federal judicial panel resulted in the formation of the multidistrict litigation for the Zostavax lawsuits. In 2019, Judge Harvey Bartle of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania is presiding over the Shingle vaccine lawsuit in the MDL.
Two categories were used to classify the cases. Cases in Group A would involve plaintiffs who developed shingles as a result of vaccination, while cases in Group B would involve plaintiffs who sustained injuries unrelated to shingles. These cases are known as “bellwethers,” which indicates that the verdict in one case will determine the course and standards for others.
According to Zostavax lawsuit information, Zostavax didn’t prevent shingles; instead, it led the plaintiffs to contract a chronic strain of herpes zoster, which led to uncomfortable outbreaks, hospital visits, and, in two cases, post-herpetic neuralgia. The vaccine’s flawed design is one of the primary claims in the Zostavax litigation.
Judge Harvey Bartle of the U.S. District Court rejected Merck’s motion for summary judgement based on the statute of limitations. For example, when the plaintiff was well aware that receiving the Zostavax vaccination might have contributed to her developing shingles, Bartle claimed that certain questions in the case could only be decided by a jury.
How did Merck falsely promote the vaccine?
In national broadcast and magazine advertisements, Merck has been advising adults 50 and older to get protected against herpes zoster by getting vaccinated with Zostavax. Between 2006 and 2017, Merck delivered 36 million doses of Zostavax and received about $685 million annually.
According to the lawsuit filed in September 2019, Merck claims the vaccine is 51% effective for everyone. Merck continues to dispute accusations made against them despite the anguish and suffering, the patients who received Zostavax have experienced.
In addition to lawsuits asserting that Zostavax can result in severe injuries, the American health system is apparently moving away from promoting Zostavax in favor of a vaccination that is both safer and more effective. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, which provides guidance to the CDC, began formally endorsing a new shingles vaccine over Zostavax in October 2017.
Merck’s negligence towards Zostavax
The Merck shingles vaccine lawsuit states that the company failed to reveal the full extent of the potential negative effects the vaccine could cause.
According to this Zostavax vaccination shingles complaint, Merck found the strain of the varicella-zoster virus was not weakened enough to prevent the reactivation of the virus. As a result, patients suffered from a mix of the active virus and the old virus, giving the shingles virus an even stronger defense.
Because Merck knew or should have known that the vaccine caused shingles infection, the shingles vaccine Zostavax lawsuits claim that Merck failed to use reasonable care in the design, labelling, testing, formulation, production, sale, marketing, and distribution of Zostavax.
Merck states that the company has consistently provided appropriate and timely information about Zostavax to consumers as well as the medical, scientific, and regulatory communities.
What happened in the Zostavax lawsuit 2021?
A plaintiff, John Destefano, was against Merck & Co. He asserted that the Merck vaccine, Zostavax, which was designed to lower the risk of shingles, caused him to develop shingles.
The Pennsylvania judge dismissed the plaintiff’s claims that the Zostavax vaccination he received led to the development of shingles eight years later, giving Merck a huge victory. Despite being compelled to give Merck a report, the plaintiff, John Destefano, never chose an expert to testify on his side.
Zostavax lawsuit updates 2022
The most recent information about Zostavax lawsuit is that Rebecca Gentile’s class action against Merck & Co., Inc. over the shingles vaccine was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Graham on April 11, 2022. She was suing under the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act and the States’ Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
Gentile has alleged that the Zostavax vaccine is not equally effective for all age groups in preventing infection with the shingles virus and that the companies have not explicitly disclosed this.
However, Gentile says the vaccine’s usefulness is significantly reduced in older people. According to her, Zostavax was just 41% effective for people over the age of 70 and 18 % successful in treating people over the age of 80.
In the end, U.S. District Judge James Graham ruled that the plaintiff does not technically qualify as a consumer under Ohio law since the shot wasn’t bought directly from Merck. Therefore, she can’t file a consumer sales practice claim.
Who is eligible for the Zostavax lawsuit settlement?
If you are eligible to take part in Zostavax lawsuits, you could receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. By taking part in Zostavax lawsuits, you could also help to hold Zostavax manufacturer Merck responsible for alleged negligence and failing to warn patients about the potential vaccine injury.
If you or your family member develops shingles three weeks to 12 months after receiving the Zostavax vaccine, or is diagnosed with any of these serious conditions within two years of getting the Zostavax vaccine, you may be eligible for a class action.
- Bell’s Palsy
- Post-Herpetic Neuralgia (PHN)
- Vision problems
- Autoimmune disorders
The choice of the best medical record review service is important for the process. LezDo techmed is ready to help you with medical record review, which is helpful to gather evidence.
To conclude, Vaccines require a careful balancing act. There is a risk that the live virus vaccine will not be strong enough to prevent patients from being exposed to the very disease they are trying to avoid. Conversely, if the virus is too weak to activate the immune system, there is an increased risk of developing the disease the vaccine prevents.
Numerous patients who experienced the immediate effects of receiving the Zostavax vaccine eventually made the decision to sue Merck & Co. in an effort to obtain financial shingles vaccine compensation. Before making the vaccine available to the general public, the producer was required to thoroughly assess its safety and as a result, is responsible for any harm the vaccination may have caused to the public. Tell us about your experience.