You’re at risk for getting shingles if you had the chickenpox as a child or adult. Almost 1 in 3 adults in the United States will get shingles in their lifetime. Shingles is a painful, itchy rash with shooting pain. It is a reactivation of the chickenpox virus, and it can happen without warning. Sometimes, it only affects one side of the body.
Shingles is an unpredictable condition and can flare up without warning. For this reason, people often get vaccinated to decrease their chances of the virus reactivating. The first shingles vaccine to gain approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was Zostavax. Although Zostavax was approved to prevent shingles in adults, many people who got the vaccine still ended up with shingles, or worse, they suffered more severe complications. The manufacturer of Zostavax, Merck, is now facing dozens of lawsuits that accuse the company of designing a defective product.