Zostavax Shingles Vaccine Lawsuit Claims & Settlements

The defective drug lawyers & attorneys at National Injury Help are currently filing lawsuit claims with potential large cash settlements for people hurt from the shingles vaccine called Zostavax.

The basis of this shingles vaccine lawsuit is fairly simple:  Merck & Company failed to warn uses on their product warning labels and didn’t adequately explain the risks of serious bodily injury, side effects and possible viral infection from this shingles vaccine.

What is Zostavax a shingles vaccine prescribed for?

According to the manufacturer (Merck & Company): ZOSTAVAX is approved for adults 50 years of age and older who have had chickenpox as a child. Since shingles is caused by the same virus as chickenpox some people may have the virus reactivate later in life.  Zostavax vaccine is administered by injection.

Shingles is a highly painful blister type rash caused by the Varicella zoster virus also known as VZN.

Also according to the manufacturer’s web site, 1 in 3 people will get Shingles in their lifetime.

What is the cost for Zostavax Shingles Vaccine?

This vaccine isn’t very affordable for most people over 50, who may rely on Medicare or Medicaid for this.  Prices have been shown to vary between $250.00 – $300.00 per injection of this vaccine, please ask your doctor for more details and if your insurance will cover this.

What are the problems with Zostavax?

Generally speaking the most common complaint about Zostavax side effects is its perceived lack of effectiveness rated at 50%, but the risk reduction is about 1.7 percentage points.  In a published article by Health Sciences Institute (HSI) article in January, 2016, “UCLA researchers found that only one in 175 people who get the vaccine will be able to dodge a shingles flare-up.”  Zostavax shingles vaccine lawsuit

The packaging inserts shows the following data:

“The following adverse experiences in the AE Monitoring Substudy of the SPS (Days 0 to 42 postvaccination) were reported at an incidence ≥1% and greater in subjects who received ZOSTAVAX than in subjects who received placebo, respectively: respiratory infection (65 [1.9%] vs. 55 [1.7%]), fever (59 [1.8%] vs. 53 [1.6%]), flu syndrome (57 [1.7%] vs. 52 [1.6%]), diarrhea (51 [1.5%] vs. 41 [1.3%]), rhinitis (46 [1.4%] vs. 36 [1.1%]), skin disorder (35 [1.1%] vs. 31 [1.0%]), respiratory disorder (35 [1.1%] vs. 27 [0.8%]), asthenia (32 [1.0%] vs. 14 [0.4%])”.

Eye & Vision Damage linked to Shingles Vaccine

In February 2016, the FDA approved a change to the Zostavax vaccines label to read:  “Eye Disorders: necrotizing retinitis (patients on immunosuppressive therapy)”. Please see FDA graphic for more details.Zostavax eye damage FDA warning

Acute Retinal Necrosis (ARN) linked to Zostavax

In the full article from the JAMANETWORK.com shows two cases of eye problems called acute retinal necrosis (ARN) after they received the Zostavax vaccine. The following is from the article, link source/credit at the bottom of this page.

Acute retinal necrosis (ARN) is a severe viral infection of the retina that can lead to significant vision loss. Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) and herpes simplex virus are thought to cause ARN. Recent studies suggest that VZV is implicated in most cases.

To our knowledge, viral retinitis attributed to the varicella vaccine has not been reported. Herein, we describe 2 patients who developed polymerase chain reaction (PCR)–positive ARN following live attenuated varicella vaccination.

Case 1

A 77-year-old woman with a medical history significant for diabetes mellitus with secondary end-stage renal disease manifested severe vision loss in her left eye. She had a positive history of chickenpox as a child. She received the Zostavax vaccine 6 days prior to a rapid loss of vision in her left eye. On examination, visual acuity was bare light perception OS. Slitlamp examination revealed moderate conjunctival injection, diffuse mutton-fat keratic precipitates, an intraocular pressure of 14 mm Hg, and moderate vitritis. Fundus photographs are shown in Figure 1 and Figure 2. Retinal hemorrhages were absent. The right eye was unremarkable.

Case 2

An 80-year-old man with a medical history of hypertension and renal transplantation had bilateral severe vision loss for 2 weeks. His medications included mycophenolate mofetil, tacrolimus, and prednisone (5 mg/d). Two months prior to loss of vision, he had received the Zostavax vaccine. Within days of vaccination, he developed a varicellalike illness including rash and fever. The systemic illness resolved after local hospital admission for intravenous treatment with acyclovir sodium. He was not taking antiviral medication at the time of his initial visit for ocular symptoms.

On examination, visual acuity was hand motions OD and 20/150 OS. Slitlamp examination revealed moderate inflammation in both eyes. Fundus photographs (Figure 3 and Figure 4) show peripheral retinal detachment with hemorrhage in the right eye and retinal necrosis in the left eye. The patient received intravitreous foscarnet sodium in both eyes and was again admitted to the local hospital for a short course of intravenous acyclovir treatment. He was discharged and prescribed valacyclovir, 1 g orally 3 times daily. Shortly thereafter, he underwent bilateral vitrectomy with silicone oil tamponade for progression of retinitis and bilateral retinal detachments. An anterior chamber paracentesis specimen at the time of foscarnet injection was positive for VZV DNA and negative for herpes simplex virus DNA.

What are the side effects of Shingles Vaccine Zostavax?

We again used the Merck & Company web site and found these vaccine side effects: “headache, redness, pain, itching, swelling, hard lump, warmth, or bruising where the shot was given.” However this Shingles vaccine could also produce other side effects including:

– fever

– postherpetic neuralgia (pain after shingles blister subsides)

– brain damage

– paralysis

– hives at or near the injection site

– vision problems including blindness, eye infections or retinal damage

– muscle pain

– rashes

– shingles

– chickenpox

– difficulty in breathing

– problems swallowing

– congestive heart failure

– death in some individuals

Zostavax, Shingles Vaccine Class Action Lawsuit

Five most common questions (FAQ) about the Zostavax, Shingles Vaccine lawsuit.

  • How much can you get for a Zostavax lawsuit?
  • How much would the cash payout be for Zostavax?
  • I took Zostavax and had developed Shingles or chickenpox, how much compensation would I get?
  • How much is the settlement in the Zostavax lawsuit?
  • Is Zostavax litigation starting now? Is it an MDL?


The answer to these questions can be difficult to predict, as the class action for this hasn’t started yet. There is still time for join in this Shingles Vaccine lawsuit, but there are statutes of limitations that apply. This drug may enter into MDL status.

Some of the past defective drug lawsuits have had millions of dollars in a compensation fund, and then that is divided up between all who have joined the lawsuit. Example: $50,000,000 in a settlement fund that would serve 1,000 victims would be $50,000 per person. This is only an example and does not represent what may happen for Zostavax.

If you or someone you love took Zostavax and suffered from Shingles or chickenpox, eye damage, brain damage, or death, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

Not sure if you have a case? Call us today to speak with a member of our legal team. We can answer your questions and help you determine if your case qualifies for a possible Zostavax lawsuit.

 Zostavax, Shingles Vaccine Lawsuit claims are available in these States:

Alabama (AL), Alaska (AK), Arizona (AZ), Arkansas (AR), California (CA), Colorado (CO), Connecticut (CT), Delaware (DE), Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), Hawaii (HI), Idaho (ID), Illinois (IL), Indiana (IN), Iowa (IA), Kansas (KS), Kentucky (KY), Louisiana (LA), Maine (ME), Maryland (MD), Massachusetts (MA), Michigan (MI), Minnesota (MN), Mississippi (MS), Missouri (MO), Montana (MT), Nebraska (NE), Nevada (NV), New Hampshire (NH), New Jersey (NJ), New Mexico (NM), New York (NY), North Carolina (NC), North Dakota (ND), Ohio(OH), Oklahoma (OK), Oregon (OR), Pennsylvania (PA), Rhode Island (RI), South Carolina (SC), South Dakota (SD), Tennessee (TN), Texas (TX), Utah (UT), Vermont (VT), Virginia (VI), Washington (WA), Washington DC (DC), West Virginia (WV), Wisconsin (WI), Wyoming (WY)

Zostavax, Shingles Vaccine Lawsuit page updated on April 10, 2019