Zostavax Lawyers Review Shingles Vaccine Cases Nationwide

Merck introduced Zostavax in May 2006, as a vaccine for prevention of shingles among older individuals. It uses a stronger version of the chickenpox vaccine Varivax, but it has been linked to reports involving longer and more painful shingles outbreaks.

It appears that the live varicella zoster virus (VZV) was not weak enough, and may reactivate years later. As a result, potential cases are being reviewed for the development of painful shingles outbreaks that may result from Zostavax side effects, leading to:

  • Painful Rash and Blisters
  • Scarring
  • Vision or Hearing Loss
  • Postherpetic Neuralgia
  • Encephalitis, Paralysis and Other Neurological Problems
  • Cardiomyophathy and Other Cardiac Issues
  • Pneumonia and Other Lung Problems
  • Skin Infections and Bacterial Superinfection

Potential Zostavax lawsuits are also evaluated for individuals who developed auto-immune diseases, including:

  • Lupus
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis (ADEM)
  • Transverse Myelitis (TM)
  • Meningitis
  • Bell’s Palsy or Facial Paralysis
  • Hemorrhagic Stroke
  • Optic Neuritis
  • Vasculitis
  • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIPD)

Free consultations and case evaluations are provided by the Zostavax vaccine lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. to help individuals nationwide determine if they or a loved one may have a case. All lawsuits are pursued on a contingency fee basis, which means that there are no out-of-pocket costs to hire our law firm and we only receive an attorney fee or expense if a Zostavax settlement or recovery is obtained.

Did You Suffer Zostavax Shingles Problems?

Zostavax Side Effects

Zostavax is a live varicella zoster virus (VZV) vaccine, which was the first available injection for prevention of shingles among older adults.

The vaccine contains the same virus that causes chickenpox among children, which is known to remain dormant in the body for decades before reactivating and becoming shingles. Although the shingles vaccine was marketed as safe and effective, increasing evidence suggests that side effects of Zostavax may actual cause the infection it is designed to prevent.

Merck introduced Zostavax as a stronger version of it’s chickenpox vaccine, known as Varivax. While Varivax contains a minimum of 1,350 plaque-forming units (PFUs), Zostavax was designed to contain a minimum of 19,400. However, clinical evaluations of the vaccine have shown that more than 99% of those who were given Zostavax injections actually received about 32,300 PFU.

Zostavax Vaccine May Cause Shingles

Evidence suggests that the Zostavax vaccine is under-attenuated, meaning it is not weak enough, and may pose a serious risk for individuals years after teh injection.

Before Zostavax was introduced, studies showed that the virus may reactivate on its own, causing individuals who may have never gotten shingles to develop outbreaks due to the live virus in the vaccine.

During the first decade it was on the market, thousands of complaints were filed with the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting system, included problems with rash, severe skin disease, peripheral neuropathy, cellulitis, myalgia, arthralgia, lymphadenopathy, actinic keratosis, vision loss from herpes keratis, facial paralysis, pneumonia, brain inflammation and other complications.

From 2006 through September 2015, more than 23,000 adverse event reports involving problems from Zostavax vaccine were reported.

Among the most serious side effects of Zostavax were reports of:

  • Shingles or Herpes Zoster
  • Pain
  • Rash
  • Wrongful Death

As a result of the manufacturer’s failure to adequately research the risks associated with the shingles vaccine, and warn about the potential side effects, financial compensation may be available through a Zostavax lawsuit for individuals nationwide.


Picture of Zostavax shingles vaccine lawsuit

Timeline of Zostavax Problems

April 2000

Study published in the medical journal Nature Medicine warns that under-attenuated live varicella zoster virus (VZV) can reactivate.

June 2005

Merck’s Shingles Prevention Study claims live VZV vaccine is safe and effective.

May 2006

FDA approves Zostavax as single-dose vaccine for herpes zoster (shingles) among individuals 60 and older.

March 2008

Merck publishes Zostavax safety study, claiming few adverse event reports and that vaccine is generally safe.

March 2011

FDA expands approval for Zostavax vaccine for individuals ages 50 and older.

September 2015

Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System includes 1,111 submissions involving serious problems from Zostavax, including 36 deaths.

February 2018

CDC updates Zostavax warnings to indicate it can cause rash or shingles.

August 2018

U.S. JPML establishes consolidated litigation for all Zostavax vaccine lawsuits filed over failure to warn about the shingles risk.

Allegations Raised in Zostavax Class Action Lawsuits

The product liability lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. are evaluation potential Zostavax vaccine class action lawsuits, as well as individual claims for shingles or other health problems that may have been caused by the under-attenuated live varicella zoster virus (VZV). Allegations include:

  • Failure to properly research the Zostavax Side Effects before the vaccine was introduced;
  • Failure to follow through on post-marketing Zostavax studies to evaluate the shingles risk;
  • Failure to disclose reports of Zostavax problems;
  • Failure to issue a Zostavax recall or update warnings after it became apparent that users face a high risk of developing shingles;
  • Misrepresenting the safety of Zostavax injections to users and the medical community.

No Fees or Expenses Unless You Receive a Zostavax Settlement

Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. is a nationally known injury law firm that is focused exclusively on representing individuals, we do not represent corporations or insurance companies.

Over the course of more than 40 years, clients of our law firm have collected more than $1 billion in compensation in cases involving product liability, medical malpractice, automobile accidents and other personal injury lawsuits.

All Zostavax vaccine lawsuits will be handled by our attorneys on a contingency fee basis, which means that there are never any out-of-pocket expenses to hire our law firm and we only receive an attorney fee if we secure compensation for our client.

Protect your family and find out if you or a loved one may be eligible for an Zostavax class action lawsuit.

CONTACT OUR ZOSTAVAX LAWYERS No Fees or Expenses Unless a Recovery is Obtained.

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Saiontz & Kirk, PA, Attorneys & Lawyers, Baltimore, MD