Why is Merck being sued over the Zostavax vaccine? - VB Attorneys
Written by Brian Beckcom
In 2006, Merck’s Zostavax vaccine was approved by the FDA as a shingles vaccine. It was marketed to reduce the risk of getting shingles (aka the herpes zoster virus) in people over the age of 50. However, for more than half the people who received Zostavax, shingles was the best outcome they could expect.
Merck’s decision to sell a defective vaccine has seriously injured thousands of people
Shingles typically affects people over 60 years old. It is a reactivation of the chicken pox virus. The hallmark of shingles is a rash or blisters that cause an incredibly painful burning sensation. It affects your nerves, which means it can cause a large number of other injuries. Some of the injuries caused by Zostavax include:
Post-Herpetic Neuralgia (this includes Allodynia)
Neurological problems that appear at least seven days after receiving the Zostavax vaccine, including:
Facial paralysis (this includes Bell’s Palsy and Ramsay Hunt)
Loss of hearing
Cranial nerve palsies
Acute cardiovascular events (dysfunction within blood vessels), including:
Cardiac issues, including:
Exacerbation of chronic heart failure
Vision problems, including:
Pneumonia including other lung issues
Skin infections including bacterial superinfection
Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM)
Why is Merck’s Zostavax vaccine defective and dangerous?
Merck used a live, “attenuated” version of the varicella virus in the Zostavax vaccine – the herpes zoster virus. The varicella virus causes chickenpox and shingles. An outbreak of chickenpox causes the varicella virus to go into a latent state. The virus then stays in your nerve cells for the rest of your life. It can reactivate itself as the herpes zoster virus as you get older by traveling from your nerve cells to your skin, manifesting as shingles.
Once the herpes zoster virus has been reactivated and the group of nerve cells it has attached itself to has been fully infected, the group of nerve cells is destroyed. The virus then spreads to the next group of nerve cells, then the next, and so on. This is how the virus replicates itself, traveling throughout your body. The virus can reactivate itself in any of the nerve cells where it remains latent and produce new nerve inflammation and damage whenever it reactivates. If it reactivates itself in the ears or eyes, it can cause severe hearing damage and blindness.
The extreme damage, pain, and suffering it causes is why there was a need for a shingles vaccine for people over the age of 50. When you reach 60 years old, your risk for getting shingles increases dramatically. However, Merck’s decision to use the live virus in its vaccine has caused millions of people intense pain and suffering – even death.
Merck knew the vaccine wasn’t safe and chose to sell it anyway
Investigations have shown that Merck failed to do its due diligence and prove that this vaccine was safe and effective before selling it to people. In fact, we now know that Merck knew of the risks and sold this vaccine anyway. The company’s disregard for your safety and well-being has led us to hold them accountable.