Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Can The Shingles Vaccine Cause Eye Problems

Side Effects Of Shingles Vaccine

Shingles: What you need to know about causes, symptoms, and prevention.

One in six people feels ill after being vaccinated with Shingrix, per the Centers for Disease Control . This feeling may last a few days. Of those who react, some may be after the first dose, while others may experience side effects after dose two.

Common side effects of a shingles vaccination include headache and fatigue, muscle pain, fever and chills, stomach discomfort and nausea, as well as redness, swelling, or mild to moderate pain at the injection site.

Side effects from receiving the Zostavax shingles vaccine are allegedly much more severe.

Chickenpox Shingles Shot Tied To Rare Eye Problem

But study doesn’t prove cause-and-effect

HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Jan. 25, 2016 — The vaccine for chickenpox and shingles has been linked to inflammation of the eye’s cornea, but the number of such cases is small, a new study says.

“Keratitis, or inflammation of the clear layer on the front of the eye, is a vision issue that can cause serious complications or even permanent damage to your vision if left untreated,” Dr. Frederick Fraunfelder, chair of the ophthalmology department and director of the University of Missouri Eye Institute, said in a university news release.

Researchers found 20 cases of keratitis in children and adults that occurred within a month of receiving a chickenpox or shingles vaccine. Symptoms of the disorder developed within 24 days of vaccination among adults. In children, symptoms began within 14 days of vaccination, the researchers said.

The researchers said there is a probable relationship between the vaccine and the eye inflammation. However, the new study wasn’t designed to prove that the vaccine actually caused the condition.

Despite the findings, most people should still get the chickenpox and shingles vaccine, the researchers said.

“While this is a rare occurrence, it’s important for physicians to know when giving the vaccine to individuals who have a history of the condition because it could be reactivated by the vaccine,” he said.

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Learn More Aboutzostavax Lawsuits

Side effects of the shingles vaccine Zostavax may result in the development of a painful and persistent strain of shingles

Shingrix was introduced in October 2017, and has been approved for prevention of shingles among adults age 50 and older. It was the second shingles vaccine approved in the U.S., and has been widely viewed as a superior replacement for Mercks Zostavax , which has been linked to complications as a result of an under-attenuated live virus contained in the vaccine.

The MMWR findings come from data lifted from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System during the first eight months Shingrix was in use, from October 20, 2017 to June 30, 2018, resulting in the distribution of 3.2 million doses. The most common adverse events were fever, injection site pain, and injection site erythema. The report does not highlight any specific side effects which stood out among the reports of serious adverse events. However, the report does indicates that 196 patients developed shingles even after receiving the vaccine, though the CDC indicates that it believes 14 of those patients may have already been suffering from a shingles outbreak when they received the shot.

All but one of those patients suffered injection site reactions, including pain, erythema, and pruritus.

As of this latest MMWR report, the number of reported injection errors had risen to 230.

Read Also: How To Repair Loose Shingles

Complications Following Shingles Vaccine Are Serious In About 3% Of Cases: Cdc

Amid continuing concerns about reports of problems with the single-dose Zostavax shingles vaccine, a new report reviewed adverse reactions to the newer, double-dose Shingrix vaccine, indicating that about three percent of those reactions resulted in serious injuries or complications.

GlaxoSmithKlines Shingrix vaccine is believed to be safer and more effective for prevention of shingles among older adults, and has largely replaced the older live-virus Zostavax vaccine, which has been linked to reports of more severe and persistent shingles outbreaks and auto-immune complications in recent years.

In the latest issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report , health officials indicate that at least 4,381 reports of adverse events have been received involving shingles inoculation with Shingrix, about 130 of them are classified as serious, including seven deaths. However, it is unclear whether the deaths were tied directly to the vaccine.

Measles Can Cause Eye Problems

Varicella (chickenpox)

Around the world, measles causes as many as 60,000 cases of blindness each year, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology . Other potential vision issues associated with measles include:

  • Red and watery eyes triggered by pink eye

  • Keratitis and scarring of the cornea

  • Childhood blindness

The measles vaccine is the best option for preventing the disease and, therefore, preventing measles-related vision problems.

SEE RELATED:5 ways measles can affect eyesight

Read Also: How Much Shingle Do I Need Calculator

Long Term Side Effects

In rare cases, the live shingles vaccine, Zostavax, can cause a skin rash or shingles.

The rash that occurs with shingles can affect any area of the body, but it often appears as a line of blisters that wraps around the torso.

Within a few days the blisters cluster, and they continue to form for several more days. The blisters can take 2â3 weeks to heal, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.

Other common symptoms of shingles include:

two shingles vaccines for adults: the recombinant zoster vaccine and the zoster virus vaccine .

Eye Care Professionals Respond To Covid

Those and other side effects arent stopping eye care professionals in the U.S. from rolling up their sleeves to receive COVID-19 shots or to even administer the vaccinations.

In a Dec. 2, 2020, letter to the head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. William Reynolds, president of the American Optometric Association, wrote that the organizations members stand ready to assist the public and aid the nations health care community in the response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ophthalmologists in the U.S. also are engaged in the fight against COVID-19.

Dr. William Culbertson, professor of ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, told Ophthalmology Times that ophthalmologists and staff at the institute started receiving vaccinations Dec. 15, 2020.

Although we are not frontline health care providers, we all see patients face to face at the slit lamp and in surgery, so we have all been at substantial risk until we get vaccinated, Culbertson said.

In addition, at least one ophthalmologist Dr. Jorge Arroyo of Bostons Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center participated in the trial of the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19.

It was a 34-year-old Chinese ophthalmologist, Li Wenliang, who was among the first to warn the world about the coronavirus outbreak in late December 2019. Dr. Li died of complications from the disease only a few weeks later.

Also Check: What Are The Signs Of Shingles In Adults

How Effective Is The Shingles Vaccine In Preventing Shingles

The shingles vaccine can provide strong protection against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia , the most commonly occurring shingles complication.

The shingles vaccine is 97% effective in preventing shingles in people ages 50 to 69 years old. Its 91% effective in people ages 70 years and older.

In addition, the shingles vaccine is 91% effective in preventing PHN in people ages 50 to 69 years old. Its 89% effective in people ages 70 years and older.

What Are The Advantages Of Getting The Shingles Vaccine

Mayo Clinic Minute: What are eye shingles?

The shingles vaccine reduces your risk of getting shingles. Shingles causes a painful rash that usually develops on one side of your body or face. Some people describe the pain as an intense burning or shooting sensation. The rash is often a single strip that wraps around one side of your body or is on one side of your face. It consists of blisters that normally crust over in seven to 10 days. The rash generally clears up within a month.

Some people with shingles also experience additional symptoms including fever, headache, chills or upset stomach.

For some people, the pain from the rash can last for months or even years after the rash goes away. This long-term pain is called postherpetic neuralgia , and it is the most common complication of shingles.

Read Also: How Do You Take Care Of Shingles

Shingles Virus Can Affect Your Eyes Too

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus the same virus that causes chickenpox. If youve had chickenpox, the virus can lie dormant in your bodys nerve tissue for years when suddenly its triggered by stress or a weakened immune system, and manifests as shingles.

The Shingrix shingles vaccine is recommended for anyone over age 50. It helps prevent the disease and reduces the severity of symptoms.

Ophthalmic shingles is one particular version of the disease that can have some serious side effects that ultimately can cause permanent damage to your vision.

Youre probably familiar with shingles, a viral infection that causes a painful rash usually on the bodys torso. But did you know that shingles also can affect the eye?

Shingles around the eye typically involves the skin of the forehead and the skin of the upper lid. It can also involve the side of the nose or the tip of the nose, said Dr. Keith Baratz, a Mayo Clinic ophthalmologist.

The virus lies dormant for years, but, when triggered by stress or a weakened immune system, it travels along nerve pathways to the skin and usually affects only one side of the face.

You can almost draw a line right down the middle of the forehead when you get the rash, Baratz said.

In addition to the telltale rash or blisters, patients often will have pink eye, swelling or even blurry vision.

Side Effects Not Requiring Immediate Medical Attention

Some side effects of zoster vaccine, inactivated may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

  • pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site
  • general feeling of discomfort or illness
  • itching at the injection site

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What Everyone Should Know About The Shingles Vaccine

Shingles vaccination is the only way to protect against shingles and postherpetic neuralgia , the most common complication from shingles.

CDC recommends that adults 50 years and older get two doses of the shingles vaccine called Shingrix to prevent shingles and the complications from the disease. Adults 19 years and older who have weakened immune systems because of disease or therapy should also get two doses of Shingrix, as they have a higher risk of getting shingles and related complications.

Your doctor or pharmacist can give you Shingrix as a shot in your upper arm.

Shingrix provides strong protection against shingles and PHN. In adults 50 years and older who have healthy immune systems, Shingrix is more than 90% effective at preventing shingles and PHN. Immunity stays strong for at least the first 7 years after vaccination. In adults with weakened immune systems, studies show that Shingrix is 68%-91% effective in preventing shingles, depending on the condition that affects the immune system.

Who Should Not Get Shingrix

Chickenpox vs. measles: Symptoms, pictures, treatment, and more

You should not get Shingrix if you:

  • Have ever had a severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine or after a dose of Shingrix.
  • Currently have shingles.
  • Currently are pregnant. Women who are pregnant should wait to get Shingrix.

If you have a minor illness, such as a cold, you may get Shingrix. But if you have a moderate or severe illness, with or without fever, you should usually wait until you recover before getting the vaccine.

Recommended Reading: Can A Person Get Shingles Twice

Rare Reactions To The Johnson & Johnson Vaccine

Very rarely, a blood-clotting condition called TTS can occur in the weeks following a Johnson & Johnson vaccination. TTS is extremely unlikely and occurs in about 3 in every 1 million adults.

Blurry vision can be a sign of TTS, along with several other symptoms.

The rare nerve condition Guillain-Barre syndrome has also been seen in about 8 in every 1 million adults vaccinated with the J& J vaccine.

Guillain-Barre syndrome can cause eye-related symptoms such as double vision and problems moving the eyes, in addition to other neurological symptoms.

If you notice any of the symptoms of TTS or Guillain-Barre in the days or weeks after a J& J vaccine, get medical help right away.

Despite these uncommon reactions, the CDC has stressed that compared to a COVID-19 infection the benefits of the J& J vaccine far outweigh any risks.

Shingles Vaccine Lawyers In Houston

You need a solid legal team on your side if youre looking to take on pharmaceutical companies. Reich & Binstocks Houston pharmaceuticals injury lawyers have the experience, skills, and tenacity to challenge Merck in court for its negligence.

We offer a free, no-obligation consultation if Zostavax caused your vaccine injury. Our phone number is . Reich & Binstock has a solid reputation for fighting against drug manufacturers and handles cases for clients experiencing injuries from medicines such as Injectafer, Xeljanz, Zantac, Elmiron, and more.

There is a never a fee unless we recover on your behalf.

Also Check: What Are Shingles And What Causes Them

Join A Free Zostavax Shingles Vaccine Class Action Lawsuit Investigation

You may qualify to join a free Zostavax lawsuit investigation if you or a close relative were diagnosed with one of the following conditions within the past two years and within six months of being vaccinated with Zostavax:

  • Necrotizing retinitis
  • Vision loss or blindness documented by a doctor
  • Retinal uveitis leading to vision loss or blindness diagnosed by a doctor
  • Death from shingles or from any other condition on this list

Serious neurological disorders and hearing loss may also qualify. Fill out the form on this page now for a FREE case evaluation.

Shingles Vaccine And Insurance

How Can You Prevent Shingles

Private health insurance plans often cover vaccination costs. Still, a patient might have a charge depending on the specific insurance plan.

Medicaid may or may not cover the vaccine cost.Medicare Part D plans cover the shingles vaccine, but there may be a cost to the patient depending on the plan. Usually, the fees are less than $50 per dose.

Medicare Part B does not cover the shingles vaccine.

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Can The Shingles Shot Cause Guillain

Though rare, but Guillain-Barré syndrome can occur with both the shingles vaccine and the shingles virus itself.

Symptoms of this serious autoimmune disorder include a loss of sensation and muscle paralysis that tends to come on quickly, typically spreading up from your lower extremities.

It can be life-threatening, so contact a healthcare provider immediately if you think you may have symptoms.

Rare Side Effects Of The Shingles Vaccine

In rare cases, a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis may occur. This can be a life-threatening emergency and requires immediate medical attention.

Symptoms of anaphylaxis after receiving the shingles vaccine include:

Typically, these side effects appear immediately or within a few minutes of vaccination your vaccination provider may be present. If you experience them after leaving the office, call 911.

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What Is The Zostavax Vaccine

The Zostavax vaccine became the first available vaccine for herpes zoster in the U.S. when it was approved by the FDA in 2006. Zostavax manufacturer Merck reports that the vaccine has been administered more than 36 million times in the last 10 years.

The vaccination is approved by the FDA for people 50 years and older, but the CDC only recommends routine use in people 60 years and older.

Shingles causes a painful rash or blisters along one side of the body. The virus is caused by the chickenpox virus , which can become active after years of lying dormant in nerve tissue. The dormant virus can reactivate when the immune system is weakened due to age or illness, long after the patient first contracted chickenpox.

When Should You See A Doctor

Shingles and Shingrix

Youll want to see your doctor if you believe you have shingles. However, it is critical that you seek medical care in these circumstances:

  • Permanent damage is possible if pain and rash near an eye if not treated.
  • Age increases the risk of complications. Its essential to visit your physician if you are older than 60.
  • If you or a family member have a weak immune system
  • A painful rash on a large section of your body

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Lawsuit Claims Shingles Vaccine And Eye Problems Connection

Bonnie J. is the latest plaintiff to file a shingles vaccine and eye problems lawsuit alleging that the manufacturers of Zostavax failed to warn the medical community and the public about the dangers of developing severe side effects.

Many consumers have already come forward to allege a connection between the Zostavax shingles vaccine and the development of shingles itself.

However, more patients are now arguing that the shingles vaccine and eye problems is another troubling connection about which the public is not aware.

These shingles vaccine and eye problems lawsuit shared that FDA approval was obtained for the Zostavax vaccine in May 2006, largely based on the results of a study completed by manufacturer, Merck, called the shingles prevention study.

The studys results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2005. Since the publication of that journal study, however, as pointed out in the shingles vaccine and eye problems lawsuit, numerous different risks have been presented and patients have become the subject of complaints and even lawsuits.

The plaintiff in the shingles vaccine and eye problems lawsuit is a resident of Washington and received the Zostavax vaccine in May 2017. Shortly after receiving the vaccine, the plaintiff suffered serious side effects, including inflammation, right eye pain, blurred vision, visual field loss and redness, all of which ultimately led to surgical intervention.

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