On July 2, Sherri Forrestall and Terri Blackman, the children of Darlene Howard filed a lawsuit against Merck & Co. for the death of their mother allegedly caused due to the side effects of the shingles vaccine Zostavax.
According to the court documents, Howard was injected with the shingles vaccine on April 28, 2015, at Walgreens Pharmacy. She started suffering from a severe outbreak of disseminated shingles following the vaccination by June 1. This resulted in hospitalization, where she died on July 3, 2015. The outbreak had affected her organs and other bodily systems.
Zostavax, introduced in 2006, is a single-dose injection containing live virus used to vaccinate older adults against the development of shingles. It has been linked to developing severe and more persistent shingles outbreaks, as well as other infections and auto-immune disorders, shortly after exposure to Zostavax. A safer alternative Shingrix vaccine is available, which does not involve the use of a live virus.
The lawsuit joins hundreds of other shingles vaccine lawsuits filed by individuals nationwide who experienced problems with Zostavax. The litigation is centralized before U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania under MDL No. 2848.