Complaints have been on the rise since the FDA asked Merck in February 2016 to add more side effect warnings to its Zostavax label regarding eye injuries and infections.
Last month Jorja Bentley developed adverse side effects, including high blood pressure and a serious eye injury, after she received the Zostavax vaccination. According to the Legal Intelligencer, the Nevada woman claims that Merck failed to provide patients with adequate warnings regarding the risks associated with the shingles vaccine. She was only warned of the possibility of rash and itching at the injection site, but her lawsuit cites numerous reports connecting the vaccine to viral infections and diseases of the central nervous system.
Bentley received the vaccination in November 2014 and allegedly developed a headache, dizziness and blurred vision. She claims to still suffer from injuries to her right eye, elevated blood pressure, headaches and dizziness. Her Zostavax lawsuit is pending Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, Jorja Bentley v. Merck & Co., Inc. et al. Case No. 161004102.
Zostavax is a money maker for Merck, generating $749 million in revenues in 2016. It is the only shingles vaccine approved by the FDA for use in the US. While the CDC recommends that most people over the age of 60 receive the vaccine, it only reduces the risk of shingles by 51 percent.
READ MORE SHINGLES VACCINE, ZOSTAVAX SIDE EFFECTS LEGAL NEWS
And shingles-containing vaccines were cited in 1,141 reports made to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System between 1990 and September 1, 2015. Ninety of those reports involved fatalities, according to the National Vaccine Information Center. Given these statistics it seems that the shingles vaccine risks outweigh the benefits.