According to attorney Marc Bern, Zostavax, the shingles vaccine, is causing very serious side effects including contracting shingles, blindness in one eye, paralysis in extremities, brain damage, and death.

Plaintiffs have sued in Pennslyvania federal courts with thousands of complaints yet to be filed.

In a statement, Merck said it “stands behind the demonstrated safety and efficacy” of the shot, which is licensed in 50 countries.  “The company has continuously provided appropriate and timely information about Zostavax to consumers and to the medical, scientific and regulatory communities,” according to Merck’s statement.  Great article by Dr. Sherri Tenpenny on Zostavax.  Excerpts below.

Shingles shot contains:

Viral Particles: At least 19,400 PFU (plaque forming units) – 14 times more viral particles than in the chickenpox vaccine
Animal cells:
Pig: porcine gelatin – 15.58mg – known to cause anaphylaxis and food allergies
Cow: bovine serum – known to cause anaphylaxis and food allergies
Aborted Human cells: MRC-5 cells
Antibiotic: Neomycin
Chemical: sodium chloride (table salt) – 4.0 mg
Chemical: MSG, 0.62mg
Chemical: sodium phosphate dibasic, 0.57mg
Chemical: potassium phosphate monobasic, 0.10mg
Chemical: potassium chloride, 0.10 mg
Chemical: sucrose, 31.16 mg
Flu shot – ex: Regular Fluzone (Fluzone HighDose is given to some seniors; it does not have mercury)
Viral particles: 45 mcg
Animal cells:
Residual egg protein
Pig: porcine gelatin 5 mg
Chemical: sodium phosphate
Chemical: Formaldehyde, 75 mcg
Chemical: Octylphenol ethooxylate, (Triton X-100), 75 mcg
Chemical: Thimerosal – mercury – 12.5mcg to 25 mcg per dose

Zostavax vaccine contains weakened chickenpox virus that can shed to others. Some patients inoculated with Zostavax were found to shed the vaccine-strain virus through their saliva for one month after vaccination, and there are documented cases of chickenpox-like infection after being in contact with a person recently vaccinated.

There are at least 80,000 cases of breakthrough chickenpox (people who get chicken pox even though they were vaccinated) and 6 of those cases were fatal. More than 31,000 adverse effects from Zostavax have been reported to VAERS.  This review generated a comment by Roy Fried, MD. regarding the number of serious adverse events (AE) after the shingles vaccine:

For persons over 60, there is a 36% increase incidence of serious AEs within the first 42 days when data from FDA safety study was combined data from the Shingles Prevention Study.
For persons over 80, the ability of the vaccine to prevent shingles or PHN was no better than placebo AND these seniors had nearly double the rate of serious AEs in the first 42 days after the vaccination.  This FDA article admits that Zostavax doesn’t work to treat pain and that there was no difference between groups in pain level.  It also admits that in people 60 and older the vaccine reduces shingles by about 50% and declines with age.  Zostavax contains MSG, which the American Heart Association say may trigger for Atrial fibrillation. It has also been linked to killing brain cells, obesity, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.  It also has the most gelatin of any vaccine, which can cause inflammation, allergic reactions – including anaphylaxis.

Here is a list of side effects the manufacturer claims:

allergic reactions, which may be serious and may include difficulty in breathing or swallowing
hives at the injection site
joint pain
muscle pain
rash at the injection site
swollen glands near the injection site (that may last a few days to a few weeks)