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Ultimate Guide to Vaccine Related Shoulder Injuries

Vaccine Injury Pros June 27, 2024

It's flu shot season, and the CDC has recommended that nearly everyone get vaccinated. However, the CDC also warns that on rare occasions, flu vaccination can cause serious problems, and that people who think that they have been injured by the flu shot can file a claim for compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).  

What Is SIRVA?

SIRVA, which stands for Shoulder Injury Resulting from Vaccine Administration, is a real and recognized condition that can occur after receiving vaccinations. Common symptoms include arm pain, shoulder pain, shoulder dysfunction, limited range of motion, inflammation, and more specific conditions like shoulder bursitis and adhesive capsulitis. SIRVA happens when a vaccine is injected too high or too deep into the shoulder, causing injury to the structures within the shoulder joint. 

Recognizing SIRVA

Many individuals are in shock when they discover that a flu shot has caused them so much pain. What you should know if you are suffering from shoulder pain as a result from a vaccination is that your experience is unfortunately not uncommon. Furthermore, your injury may be eligible for compensation through the VICP. The program was established to provide a streamlined process for compensating individuals who have suffered vaccine-related injuries. 

Seeking Treatment

If you are experiencing shoulder pain after receiving a vaccine, it is important to go to your doctor and seek treatment. The Mayo Clinic advises that minor shoulder pain should be treated with ice, rest, and pain relievers. However, if you have intense shoulder pain and/or are unable to move your arm away from your body, you should seek immediate medical attention. 

Common treatments for SIRVA include anti-inflammatory medications such as prednisone, physical therapy, and sometimes cortisone injections. It is critical to seek medical attention and to advise your providers of your pain as soon as possible, as severe pain and lack of mobility are not common side effects of a flu shot and need to be addressed. 

Do I Need a Diagnosis of SIRVA to Contact a Lawyer?

No, it is not uncommon for doctors to have never heard of the term "SIRVA" and therefore not unusual to lack a diagnosis of it. Diagnoses that we often see with a SIRVA injury include frozen shoulder, bursitis, impingement, tendinitis, adhesive capsulitis, rotator cuff tear, and SLAP tear. If you have received any of these diagnoses after having a vaccination, please reach out to discuss the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program with us. 

Updated Information and Videos About SIRVA 

I previously gave links to information about SIRVA, emphasizing the importance of recognizing this condition. The medical community and other respected sources are increasingly posting material online to let people know that although rare, SIRVA is real. Here are two very informative videos that explain SIRVA in more detail: 

The purpose of these videos is not to discourage flu shots or other vaccinations. Indeed, they promote the use of vaccines, including the seasonal flu shot. They explain that SIRVA is uncommon, but it does happen, and it is real. 


What should I do if I experience shoulder pain after a vaccination?

If you experience shoulder pain after receiving a vaccination, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Minor pain can be treated with ice, rest, and pain relievers, but severe pain or lack of mobility necessitates consultation with a doctor. 

Is SIRVA a recognized medical condition?

Yes, SIRVA is recognized as a Table Injury by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It occurs when a vaccine is injected too high or too deep into the shoulder, causing injury. 

Do I need a formal diagnosis of SIRVA to file a claim?

No, you do not need a formal diagnosis of SIRVA to file a claim. Many healthcare providers may not be familiar with the term, but if you have symptoms or diagnoses like bursitis, frozen shoulder, or tendinitis following a vaccination, you should reach out to an attorney familiar with vaccine injuries. 

How can I contact an attorney to discuss my potential SIRVA claim?

You can contact us through the chat function on our website, by email, or by calling us directly. Both Nikki Nobbe and I are listed on the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program website as practicing attorneys. We will investigate and discuss your possible claim at no cost. 

Get Professional Guidance After an Injury

Seeking prompt medical treatment and legal advice is crucial if you suspect you have suffered a shoulder injury resulting from a vaccination. Severe pain and lack of mobility are not normal side effects and need to be taken seriously. You may be entitled to compensation through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your case.  

For more information and to see if you qualify for compensation, get in touch. Stay informed, seek help, and take the right steps to protect your health.