Zostavax is a live virus vaccine targeting shingles, a recurrent form of the same virus that causes chickenpox. Shingles can cause significant quality of life issues for people who develop it regularly, including requiring missing work due to concerns about spreading it, as well as pain and discomfort associated with outbreaks. Preventing shingles is a wonderful goal. Unfortunately, the developers of Zostavax may have inadvertently created a cure worse than the disease.
Live virus vaccines are usually more dangerous than other options, because they pose a risk of causing the disease through a process called viral shedding. These types of vaccines are also significantly harder on the immune system, and if the immune system is compromised in any way there can be serious side effects.
Side effects of Zostavax can include:
- Bell’s Palsy
- Necrotizing Retinitis
- Loss of Vision
- Recurrent Shingles
Though in most cases none of these side effects are fatal, encephalitis is a potentially fatal complication of the Zostavax vaccine. Even in cases where the side effects are not fatal, the damage to quality of life can be significant and ongoing. Many of these issues deal with the eye and can result in complete loss of vision. When this occurs, previously simple tasks such as driving to the grocery store or performing certain job tasks become impossible.
Being proactive and seeking out a vaccine to protect yourself from diseases is a good thing, and people should not suffer for doing so. Unfortunately drug companies continue to manufacture dangerous products that put patients at unnecessary risk. And so long as profit margin is the primary concern, this behavior will continue.
If you or someone you love developed significant side effects within six months of receiving the Zostavax vaccine, recognizing that the two could be linked is important. Please reach out and have an experienced attorney help you find the experts you need to evaluate your case.