The live virus vaccine for Herpes zoster Zostavax (pharmaceutical company Merck & Co., marketed in our country by MSD Italy) in recent days obtained the Galen 2019 Prize in Milan, considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for the pharmaceutical sector , in the “Real World Evidence” category for its safety, efficacy and tolerability profile (note 1).
In the United States, the same Zostavax vaccine is accused of serious harm to thousands of people who have gone to court.
Damages from Zostavax in the United States are not covered by the coverage of the "National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program" (Law that since 1986 allows vaccinated victims and their family members to obtain compensation for damages) and those damaged by Zostavax have had to undertake numerous classes actions in each U.S. federal state against the vaccine manufacturer.
In February 2018, the American Judicial Authority (JPML - Judician Panel on Multidistrict Litigation) decided to bring together 98 class actions on damages from Zostavax in a single proceeding (MDL - Multi District Litigation) before Judge Harvey Bartle of the Eastern District of the Pennsylvania (note 2).
In November 2018, Judge Harvey Bartle appointed Attorney Mark T. Sadaka, who has been following severe cases of Zostavax damage for seven years, including Guillain Barrè Syndrome, Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP), brain inflammation ( encephalitis), stroke, vasculitis, cases of blindness, eye infections, damage to the retina and acute retinal necrosis. (note 3).
The class actions gathered before Judge Harvey Bartle will be dealt with in two sessions between the fall of 2020 and the summer of 2021, while a dozen other class actions have been set up in New Jersey, the registered office of Merck & Co. (note 4 ).
The latest data updated to 31 May 2019 provided by the US Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS - Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System) relating to the vaccine for Herpes Zoster show 61.217 reports of adverse reactions, including 179 deaths, 2.141 hospitalizations and 1.157 diseases that have determined permanent disabilities. (note 5)