CDC Discovers Shingles Vaccine Is Prone to Administration Error

Shingles is a viral disease characterized by a skin rash consisting of painful blisters that usually appear in a strip across a person’s face or body. While the symptoms of Shingles will usually go away within a few weeks, some experience nerve pain that can last years.

The disease is caused by a reactivation of the varicella zoster virus (VZV), the initial exposure of which causes chicken pox. The reason why the VZV virus reactivates is not widely understood by the medical community, although it is understood to occur more in the elderly and those with a compromised immune system.

There have been several vaccines created to prevent Shingles. As of 2017, a new vaccine called Shingrix was approved for patients over 50 years of age and can prevent most cases of Shingles. Once Shingrix was approved for use, it later became the preferred vaccine according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Unfortunately, it has been involved in Maryland pharmacy errors and errors in other states.

After approval of the vaccine, the CDC began to track adverse events involving the vaccine to determine its efficacy and the potential risks involved in its administration. Notably, according to one industry news source discussing the results of the CDC data, there have been a significant number of administration errors. The majority of these errors have occurred in the pharmacy setting.

According to the report, the errors include:

  • Inappropriate route of administration;
  • Providing the vaccine to those outside the approved age range;
  • Providing patients with the wrong information;
  • A pharmacist’s failure to provide patient counseling;
  • Administration of the wrong vaccine;
  • Incorrect storage; and
  • A failure to reconstitute the vaccine as instructed.

The article notes that it is likely that there are other instances of administration errors that went unreported for a variety of reasons, and pharmacists should take additional steps to ensure that the vaccine is being properly handled and administered.

One of the major causes of the errors seems to be due to the fact that Shingrix is administered differently than the previous preferred Shingles vaccine. There are also other differences between the vaccines. For example, refrigeration requirements as well as how the vaccine is prepared and stored are different from previous vaccines.

Have You Been a Victim of a Pharmacy Error?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured after being a victim of a pharmacist’s mistake, you may be entitled to monetary compensation through a Maryland pharmacy error lawsuit. Do not let the fact that you have not been able to pinpoint the cause of your symptoms prevent you from meeting with an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney. At Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers, we work with a team of experienced physicians who can help determine the cause of your suffering. If it turns out that a pharmacy mistake was to blame, we will work tirelessly to help you pursue the compensation you deserve. To learn more, and to schedule your free consultation with an attorney at Lebowitz & Mzhen, call 410-654-3600 today.

More Blog Posts:

New Report Indicates Prescription Errors May Claim over 100,000 Lives Annually, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, May 15, 2018.

Court Rejects Plaintiff’s Premises Liability Case in Recent Drug Overdose Case, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, June 1, 2018.

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