Zostavax is a vaccine designed to reduce the risk of getting “shingles” – a form of the herpes zoster virus – in people 50 years and older. “Shingles” can cause a debilitating and extremely painful, blistering rash along with burning, itching, fever, stomach pain, and headaches. “Shingles” can develop anywhere on the body and last as long as a month.
The Zostovax vaccine actually contains live varicella zoster virus – the chickenpox virus that causes “shingles”. Once a person has had chickenpox they will not suffer it again. However, the virus remains dormant in the body and, as a person ages and their immune system weakens, the virus can suddenly ‘come alive’ resulting in “shingles”. Zostavax is intended to keep the virus dormant and, thus, prevent “shingles”. Physicians typically administer Zostavax in a single-dose injection.
Manufactured by pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., Zostavax was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) in 2006. In the last decade over 36 million doses of Zostovax have been administered. This has resulted in Zostavax being quite profitable for Merck, with billions of dollars in sales through 2018.
Unfortunately, the actual efficacy of Zostavax (i.e., it’s effectiveness in preventing “shingles”) is questionable. Worse, evidence has come to light indicating Zostavax itself may cause a person to develop “shingles”, as well as other serious, life-threatening complications:
- Vision problems (Acute Keratitis and Necrotizing Retinitis).
- Autoimmune disorders (such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Meniere’s Disease, and Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy).
- Postherpetic Neuralgia (“PHN”) (nerve pain and damage).
- Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).
- Myelitis (inflammation of the spinal cord).
- Vasculitis and Strokes.
- Bell’s Palsy.
- Hearing loss.
Some of these health issues can develop within 24 hours after receiving a Zostavax injection.
If you or a loved one received the Zostavax vaccine and (1) were diagnosed with “shingles” within six months of being vaccinated, or (2) experienced any of the serious adverse complications listed above within two years of being vaccinated, contact us online or call 1-866-252-3535 for a free consultation.