Of all the drug commercials that seem to play nonstop on TV, the ones that try to scare us the most are for Merck’s shingles vaccine Zostavax.
The drugmaker has used almost every trick in the book, from spooky music to actors wearing makeup so they appear to have shingles blisters all over them. The most recent ad warns that anyone who had chicken pox has shingles “lurking inside,” waiting to “surface any time.”
It’s enough to make you want to run right out and get a shingles shot!
But now, thousands who did just that are coming forward, hoping to tell about the consequences in a courtroom. They think Merck should be held legally responsible for a vaccine they say has harmed them more than coming down with shingles ever could.
Chris Juday took his doctor’s advice three years ago and went to a local pharmacy to get a shot of Zostavax.
A week later, he spiked a fever and noticed a rash developing on his stomach that quickly spread across his back. It was something that looked just like…chicken pox.
And it was! Specifically, it was a type called varicella pneumonia (also known as chicken pox of the lungs).
In fact, chicken pox is known to be a possible side effect of the shot. And right around the time Chris got the vaccine, the FDA sent Merck a letter saying that “shingles” needed to be added to the package warnings as well.
But Chris is just one of thousands who have suffered not only chicken pox, but eye injuries, dizziness, high blood pressure, severe nerve pain and cases of shingles after getting Zostavax shots.
In some cases, lawsuits have been filed by family members who claim that the shot caused the death of their loved ones.
The vaccine is a weakened live virus, so the label also warns that if you get the shot, it’s possible to actually give someone chicken pox — especially if they’re very young, very old or weakened by an illness.
But that may be the least of your worries. Because the other ingredients in this vaccine should be enough to make you think twice before rolling up your sleeve.
Zostavax also contains a dose of MSG, added as a “stabilizer.” That’s right — one of those additives you try to avoid like the plague when buying processed food.
If you read the Merck information sheet, you’ll see it listed as “monosodium L-glutamate,” but it’s the same brain-damaging chemical. In this form, however, the MSG is being shot right into you, which is likely to be much more dangerous than consuming it in some chips or soup.
Also contained in Zostavax, which we broke the news to eAlert readers about several years ago, are cells, “including DNA,” of a 14-week old baby boy who was aborted in 1966. Now, don’t expect to see that fact on the release form you sign, the Zostavax commercials or anywhere else for that matter.
Fetal cells are also used in the Merck chicken pox shot for kids. That “cell culture” originally came from a healthy 16-week-old baby girl who was aborted in 1961. This is one of the deepest and darkest secrets of the vaccine industry.
On top of those frightening and horrific ingredients, there’s something else Merck doesn’t want you to hear. And that’s the fact that the shot just doesn’t work very well.
While Merck claims that Zostavax is 51 percent effective in preventing shingles, other research has found that prevention number to be as low as one in 175. And the older you are, the less likely the shot is to do anything for you.
But there’s another way to lower your risk of suffering an attack of shingles. And this one really does work!
HSI panel member Dr. Allan Spreen advises a daily dose of 500 mcg of vitamin B-12 to keep the condition at bay. And if you do suffer an outbreak, a shot of B-12 can be a very effective treatment.
And there’s something else about B-12 you should know. It won’t give you shingles, chicken pox, or nerve pain… harm your eyes… or kill you.
I’m sure that Merck wishes it could say the same thing about Zostavax.
“Zostavax patients sue Merck, claiming shingles shot caused injuries and death” Eric Sagonowsky, March 14, 2017, FiercePharma, fiercepharma.com