Zostavax is a shingles vaccine, which comes with side effects. This article discusses the risks and benefits of Zostavax versus other options to prevent shingles. The debate among medical experts about whether or not Zostavax should legally be offered for free continues as it has been since 2009 when a study found that one in five people taking this vaccine developed cancer from its use.
According to the FDA, Zostavax might cause shingles and eye problems.
Zostavax, a widely used shingles vaccine, has been associated to a variety of negative effects, including shingles, eyesight loss, neurological diseases, and even death.
The vaccination is recommended for everyone 60 years or older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Zostavax is only 50% effective in preventing shingles.
What Is the Zostavax Vaccine and How Does It Work?
When the FDA authorized the Zostavax vaccine in 2006, it became the first accessible vaccination for herpes zoster (also known as shingles) in the United States. Merck, the maker of Zostavax, claims that the vaccine has been given out more than 36 million times in the previous ten years.
The vaccine has been licensed by the FDA for persons aged 50 and above, but the CDC only advises it for those aged 60 and up.
Shingles creates blisters or a painful rash on one side of the body. The chickenpox virus (varicella zoster) causes the disease, which may reactivate after years of dormancy in nerve tissue. Long after the patient originally got chickenpox, the latent virus might reawaken when the immune system is compromised due to age or sickness.
Is Zostavax a Live Virus Vaccine?
To stimulate the immune system, the Zostavax vaccine employs a weakened form of the varicella zoster virus (chickenpox). The immune system may create immunity to the virus by battling the weaker form.
Even a weaker variant of the virus may cause substantial damage to those with impaired immune systems owing to conditions like cancer or AIDS.
The virus in the Zostavax vaccine is 14 times more powerful than the one used in the chickenpox vaccine. The majority of people are able to effectively fight off the virus without experiencing any negative side effects. Even a weaker variant of the virus may cause substantial damage to those with impaired immune systems owing to conditions like cancer or AIDS.
Pregnant women and those who are allergic to gelatin or the antibiotic neomycin should avoid getting the Zostavax vaccination, according to the CDC.
What are the Zostavax Side Effects?
The FDA lists the following Zostavax adverse effects as possible:
- Joint discomfort
- Muscle ache
- Necrotizing retinitis is one of the most common eye diseases.
What Are the Signs That I Have Shingles?
One of the unwanted side effects of the Zostavax vaccination is shingles. Because the virus may cause severe pain and agony, patients are usually given the vaccination in the first place.
The discomfort, itching, or tingling on one side of the body or face is generally the initial indication of shingles. A rash will occur soon after. Within 7 to 10 days, the shingles rash blisters and scabs over, and within two to four weeks, the rash is totally gone.
Other shingles symptoms, in addition to a rash, include:
- Stomach Problems
In certain circumstances, the virus may cause long-term consequences, such as eye damage and post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), which can endure months or even years after the shingles rash has faded.
Is it possible for Zostavax to cause vision problems?
Merck was obliged by the FDA in February 2016 to add eye problems, including necrotizing retinitis, to the list of possible Zostavax adverse effects.
Chickenpox and shingles are both known to cause necrotizing retinitis, which is an infection of the eye. It is usually observed in immunocompromised people.
Pain, floaters, flashes, impaired vision, and redness of the eye are all symptoms of necrotizing retinitis.
Keratitis might result in irreversible eyesight loss if not addressed.
The shingles vaccination has also been associated to keratitis, an infection of the cornea, according to University of Missouri researchers. Within one month of getting the chickenpox and shingles vaccines, they discovered 20 instances of keratitis.
Pain, redness, excessive tears, hazy or impaired vision, and trouble opening the eyes are all symptoms of keratitis. It may result in irreversible eyesight loss if not corrected.
Are There Any Other Side Effects From Zostavax?
According to lawsuits, the Zostavax vaccination caused significantly more extreme side effects than those listed by the FDA, including death. These are some of them:
- Brain inflammation is one of the most serious neurological illnesses (encephalitis)
- Postherpetic neuralgia is a kind of postherpetic neuralgia that occurs (PHN)
- Bell’s Palsy is a kind of paralysis.
- Blindness, eye infections, and retinal damage are all examples of vision issues.
- Hearing loss is a common problem.
- Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, Meniere’s Disease, and other autoimmune illnesses
- An occurrence of cardiovascular nature
- Heart failure due to congestive heart failure
These side effects are consistent with the shingles vaccine’s adverse event statistics. According to one complaint, the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System received 1,141 complaints (including 90 fatalities) for shingles vaccinations between 1990 and September 1, 2015.
Merck is being sued for neglecting to warn of the vaccine’s possible negative effects and “intentionally, wilfully, and knowingly misrepresenting” its safety, according to the lawsuits.
Do you need legal assistance?
If the Zostavax vaccination caused you or a loved one harm, you may be able to file a lawsuit against Merck, the vaccine’s manufacturer. Medical bills, missed pay, and pain and suffering may all be recovered via a lawsuit.
Merck is a huge pharmaceutical company, and ClassAction.com has the skills and resources to take them on. Our lawyers have helped our clients collect more than $5 billion in damages (200,000 and counting).
If you or a loved one had shingles, eye issues, neurological illnesses, or even death after having the shingles vaccination, call us right away for a free, no-obligation legal consultation. It is free unless we get a trial award or a settlement on your behalf.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why was Zostavax taken off the market?
A: Zostavax was taken off the market on September 26th, 2018. It had been previously marketed as a preventative measure for shingles in adults age 60 and older. This drug has since become ineffective at preventing shingles due to the increased risk of adverse reactions that it may cause such as seizures or death. The Shingrix vaccine is now available for use instead which has shown more promising results than Zostavax ever did
Which is better Shingrix or Zostavax?
A: I cant answer that for you, because the two are different types of vaccines. However, please see a doctor before making any decisions
Is there a downside to the shingles vaccine?
A: The downside of the shingles vaccine is that it can lead to other health issues, like nerve damage and inflammation.