Woman holding a vaccine bottle and syringeA West Virginia patient has filed a Zostavax lawsuit claiming the shingles vaccine gave her shingles instead of preventing her from getting it.

Shingles is a rash caused by a virus, and can have lasting effects, according to Science News. Shingles is more common in older people, and recently, Pharmacy Times reported that there has been a push to increase vaccination rates.

Vaccines can greatly reduce a person’s risk of developing the disease, but according to one patient, she developed shingles because of the vaccine, not in spite of it.

In her Zostavax lawsuit, plaintiff Janice P. and her husband James say that on or around Sept. 25, 2016, Janice was inoculated with the Zostavax shingles vaccine to help prevent her from contracting shingles. She says that she developed shingles from the vaccine, because the vaccine itself contained too much of the live virus, exposing her to the disease.

Janice says that shortly after receiving the Zostavax vaccine, she developed a painful rash on her scalp and was diagnosed with shingles. She alleges that after the outbreak, she continued to experience pain and/or bring sensations on her scalp following the outbreak requiring additional care and treatment.

According to the lawsuit, Janice developed shingles because of a defect in the Zostavax vaccine. Janice says that her symptoms have “resulted in physical limitations not present prior to using [the vaccine.]” She claims that she was physically injured, and experienced emotional and physical distress due to her limitations caused by the shingles.

The Zostavax lawsuit says that Janice experienced severe and permanent personal injuries as a result of the vaccine. She says that her injuries are serious, progressive, permanent, and incurable. She also says that she suffered mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and physical impairment and injury.

She aims to hold Merck, the maker of the Zostavax vaccine, accountable for her injury, and seeks damages to compensate her fro the injuries.

The Zostavax lawsuit states that Janice developed shingles from the vaccine because the vaccine contains live virus, as opposed to a dead version of the virus, as is the case in most vaccines. The Zostavax lawsuit notes that when a vaccine contains a live version of the virus, it appears in a weakened, or attenuated form, to hopefully increase the body’s immune response to the virus without causing a patient to get sick.

Allegedly, the virus present in the Zostavax vaccine is not weakened enough, and is therefore known as “under-attenuated.” This allegedly resulted in the live virus recombining into more virulent strains, which caused the virus to be strong enough to cause a patient to develop the disease.

Allegedly, Zostavax is a stronger, more potent version of Merck’s chicken pox vaccine, and has a much higher concentration of the virus than the chicken pox vaccine, which makes it more likely to cause a patient to develop the disease it intends to prevent.

Janice says that the drug company did not provide clear information to patients about the risk of viral infection, though Merck knew or should have known of the potential risk. Allegedly, shingles occurrence was a noted occurrence during clinical trials of Zostavax, so according to Janice and James, the company knew or should have known of the risk.

The Zostavax Shingles Lawsuit is Case No. 2:19-cv-00944-HB, in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Join a Free Zostavax Shingles Vaccine Class Action Lawsuit Investigation

You may qualify to join a free Zostavax lawsuit investigation if you or a close relative were diagnosed with one of the following conditions within the past two years and within six months of being vaccinated with Zostavax:

  • Necrotizing retinitis
  • Ramsay Hunt
  • Vision loss or blindness documented by a doctor
  • Retinal uveitis leading to vision loss or blindness diagnosed by a doctor
  • Paralysis
  • Acute myelitis
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Encephalitis
  • Death from shingles or from any other condition on this list

Serious neurological disorders and hearing loss may also qualify. Fill out the form on this page now for a FREE case evaluation.

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