To help victims of the shingles vaccine to get justice for their injuries, attorneys have filed a Zostavax MDL request to United States District Court of Pennsylvania and Judge Harvey Bartle III. In a move seldom seen, Zostavax manufacturer, Merck already sent thousands of documentation to Judge Bartle and approved of the venue selection.
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 side effects like infectious diseases and auto-immune disorders.
The order by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidates Zostavax MDL 2848 in the US District Court of Pennsylvania (Eastern District) in front of U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle. Judge Bartle is experienced with MDL cases and already heard one of the initial Zostavax cases filed in 2016. The Zostavax MDL will combine lawsuits filed across the country including, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts. The victims allege that Merck failed to warn that the virus in the vaccine caused shingles, brain damage and death, among other things.
Merck Knew The Dangers
In 2014, the FDA approved changes to Zostavax’s warning label including chickenpox and shingles. The shingles vaccine could, in fact, cause the illness it is supposed to protect against. When an older person contracts shingles, it could be excruciating and deadly.
Then in 2016, the FDA added another warning, which was eye disorders including necrotizing retinitis. According to a Health Sciences Institute (HSI) article, UCLA researchers found that only one in 175 people would be protected against shingles. However, Merck claims Zostavax is 50% effective. Yet, it is not and also causes many injuries including:
- Autoimmune disorders, including Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy, Meniere’s Disease
- Bell’s Palsy (facial paralysis)
- Cardiovascular event
- Congestive heart failure
- Hearing loss
- Herpetic Neuralgia (a disorder in the nerves)
- Myelitis (spinal cord inflammation)
- Postherpetic neuralgia, or PHN (pain continuing after shingles blister subside)
- Serious neurological diseases or disorders, including brain inflammation (encephalitis)
- Vision problems, including blindness, eye infections, retinal damage, acute retinal necrosis
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We are still accepting new cases in all 50 states representing those injured by the Zostavax vaccine. If the conduct of a drug company in manufacturing and selling drug is found to be highly reckless, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the company and deter similar conduct in the future. Therefore, if you developed an autoimmune disorder after taking Zostavax, please speak to us to learn more about your rights.