What is Zostavax Used to Treat?
Zostavax (zoster vaccine live) is used to prevent the herpes zoster virus (shingles) and nerve pain in patients aged 50 and older. Herpes zoster is caused by the same virus (varicella) that causes chickenpox in children. When this virus becomes active again in an adult, it can cause shingles. Zoster vaccine is a live vaccine that helps prevent shingles.
How Does it Work?
Like other vaccines, Zostavax works by exposing patients to a small dose of live virus, which stimulates the body’s immune response to the virus without actually causing the disease. The vaccination is given to make the body produce more antibodies against the herpes zoster virus and boost the body’s immunity to it. This helps prevent any dormant virus from reactivating and causing shingles.
How is the Shingles Vaccine Given?
The Zostavax vaccination is administered as an injection under the skin or into the muscle of the upper arm. Only one dose is needed.
What’s the Difference Between the Shingles Vaccine and the Chickenpox Vaccine?
The shingles vaccine is essentially the chickenpox vaccine, except that it is about 14 times stronger.
Who Should Not Receive the Zostavax Vaccine?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Zostavax vaccination should not be administered to the following people:
- Women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant;
- Persons who are immunosuppressed or immunodeficient;
- Individuals who are experiencing an acute illness or fever, and
- People who have experienced a previous severe allergic reaction to gelatin or the antibiotic neomycin
What’s the Problem?
According to Merck, Zostavax has only been found to lower the risk of shingles by about 51% (other studies have found the effectiveness to be much lower). The vaccine may even cause the very disease it is intended to prevent – shingles – as well as chickenpox and other serious side effects.
Which Side Effects Has Zostavax Been Linked To?
- Injection site reactions (pain, redness, itching, swelling, warmth, bruising)
- Allergic reactions
- Vision damage / keratitis
- Joint and/or muscle pain
- Skin rash
- And more
Is There a Class Action?
No class action lawsuit has yet been filed over injuries attributed to the Zostavax vaccine, and it is unlikely that any such action will be entered in the future. In this type of litigation, class actions can force members into a “low ball settlement” and higher attorney fees. This is why our lawyers are only accepting potential individual lawsuits on behalf of people who got shingles or chickenpox after receiving the Zostavax vaccination.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
Each state has its own specific statute of limitations regarding how long a person has to file a lawsuit alleging injuries from a defective drug or medical device. If you feel you’ve been injured, you should contact our lawyers to learn more about your legal rights. Waiting could jeopardize your ability to file a claim, and make it impossible for you to recover compensation for your injuries.
How Much Does it Cost to File a Lawsuit?
Our lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you pay nothing unless we achieve a favorable outcome in your case. Contact us today to learn more.
What Damages Could I Recover?
If you got shingles or chickenpox after receiving the Zostavax vaccine, you may be entitled to compensation to assist with medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. You may also be awarded punitive damages if the manufacturer’s behavior is found to be especially harmful.