Despite Dangers No Zostavax Recall
The CDC and the FDA knew for years that the shingles vaccine, Zostavax was dangerous. In fact, communications between the agencies and the manufacturer, Merck prove it. Yet, neither one ordered for the vaccine to be removed from the shelves. Instead, it continued to hurt almost 40,000 people.
Zostavax vaccinates against shingles. Shingles are the same virus that causes chickenpox. Whereas chickenpox affects the younger population, shingles occur in those over 60. Approved by the FDA in 2006, it was the only shingles vaccine until 2017 when Shingrix came on the market. Zostavax works by a doctor injecting a patient with a weak, living form of the varicella-zoster virus. The varicella-zoster virus causes chickenpox and shingles. This vaccine has 17x more live varicella zoster virus in it than the chickenpox vaccine.
Merck manufactures the live virus in fetal lung cells, which can end up in the vaccine causing serious infectious disease or autoimmune disorders.
CDC or FDA Both Won’t Issue a Zostavax Recall
When the FDA first approved Zostavax in 2006, it was just for individuals 60 years and older. The agency told Merck to conduct post-market studies since the original ones stopped looking at safety data after only 42 days. The individuals in the study were 95% Caucasian purposely since other races are more susceptible to shingles. Plus, the efficacy rates were very low at 60% at best. Then, 17% effective at worst. Additionally, the older the individual getting the vaccine, then the lower the efficacy.
Plus, the FDA and CDC had concerns about the strength of the live virus in the vaccine. It was so strong that in 2018, the CDC added a shingles vaccine info sheet to be placed with the label. However, since many individuals received Zostavax at a pharmacy, they never saw the warnings.
Merck developed a non-live vaccine (like Shingrix) in the 1990s, which is safer. The company never used it since it was cheaper to manufacturer the live virus. Instead, Merck exposed 36 million people, and neither government agency issued a recall.
If Zostavax Injured You
It is your right to be informed about the long-term risks associated with the medications you take, and it is the responsibility of drug companies to provide this information. If you or a loved one has developed uncontrollable bleeding after taking Zostavax, you should demand accountability.
We want to help send a message that this is not acceptable. Also, we are advocates for consumers who have been harmed by dangerous products, and we have the experience necessary to successfully litigate these cases.
Contact the Michael Brady Lynch Firm today for a free consultation to learn more about seeking justice. Compensation may be available for any medical expenses associated with this ordeal, as well as for your physical and emotional suffering. There is no obligation.