Zostavax is a live varicella zoster virus (VZV) vaccine, which is an injection for prevention of shingles among older adults. It uses a stronger version of the chickenpox vaccine Varivax, but it has been linked to reports involving longer and more painful shingles outbreaks.
According to NBC News there are currently hundreds of lawsuits pending against Merck, the maker the shingles vaccine Zostavax. The vaccine was approved by the FDA in 2006 and since, there have been numerous accusations about the vaccine having adverse effects on health. In 2014 the FDA actually changed the label on the Zostavax vaccine to warn of the possible side effect of Shingles. Even with this, there is failure to warn consumers of all the possible health effects of the vaccine.
With all the lawsuits pending against Merck, they continue to defend their product. The company recently released a statement to the press stating “Merck intends to vigorously defend against the allegations in these lawsuits. Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our medicines and vaccines. Merck stands behind the demonstrated safety and efficacy of Zostavax, which has been licensed in over 50 countries”
Shingrix is a newer shingles vaccine that some doctors have been switching over to. This brand, however, has over 16,000 complaints against their shingles vaccine since it has been on the market in 2017. This is compared to Merck’s 37,000 complaints from being on the market for around a decade. Shingrix says that their vaccine is more than 90% effective in preventing shingles and that they are continuously working with the FDA to improve the safety and effectiveness of their vaccine.
Because of failure to warn consumers about the adverse health effects of these vaccines, there are now hundreds of allegations that the shingles vaccines are causing shingles and these cases are being fought on the basis that they were not warned of the effects.