Blinded By The Light: Merck Finally Reveals That Its Shingles Vaccine Can Cause Blindness
Sometimes it feels like there’s a cure coming out for everything. There are so many studies, research papers and conferences illuminating this or that disease and some new breakthrough that promises to send it the way of the dodo that it is hard to keep up.
That is partly a result of a Wild West mentality with pharmaceutical companies right now; in the U.S. the sky’s the limit on price, as we have seen from the EpiPen fiasco and the Pharma-Bro Martin Shkreli before that. So companies scramble to create “cures” for all manner of conditions that lax FDA oversight allows them to market and sell–because after all, that’s the point of medicine: making obscene amounts of money.
At any rate, in this atmosphere it is probably no surprise that a Big Pharma giant like Merck is selling something that is proven to be dangerous and then some: its shingles vaccine has been known to cause blindness for years now.
But now the company has finally admitted what people in the medical profession have long been aware of: Zostavax, the company’s shingles vaccine can cause necrotizing retinitis, a condition that if not treated immediately can lead to permanent loss of vision. A warning about this potential side effect now appears on the medicine insert that comes with the vaccine.
That condition, along with keratitis, which causes inflammation and scarring of the eye tissue and can also lead to permanent vision loss has been shown to result from the vaccine. WebMD reported that 20 individuals developed keratitis within a month of receiving the shingles vaccine.
While researchers can’t say conclusively what the underlying cause is for the eye problems people get after being injected with the Zostavax vaccine, they suggest that has to do with an autoimmune disorder. Indeed, there has been no shortage of research linking vaccines in general to autoimmune disorders, so this should come as no surprise.
Even worse, taking this vaccine that may make you go blind may not even do you any good at all. One study found that of people who took the vaccine, only about half of them managed to avoid a shingles flare-up.
So, flip of the coin that it might actually protect you from the disease its designed to protect you from, along with a side bet against going blind.
Can someone please explain why this poison is still on the market?