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Posted by Richard H. Moeller | Jun 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

Since 1988, there has been a no-fault alternative to resolve individual's claims of alleged vaccine-related injuries.  This no-fault alternative is known as the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).  Through the VICP, a study was published in 2010 that determined shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA) is thought to occur when a vaccine is injected in the arm above or through the deltoid into underlying non-muscular tissues and SIRVA was added to the Vaccine Injury Table that lists injuries caused by vaccinations. SIRVA can be broadly defined as “pain that begins within forty-eight (48) hours of vaccination and reduced range of motion.” A recent study found that women make up a large majority of SIRVA claims.

            A study by Elsabeth Hesse et al. evaluated petitions to the VICP for SIRVA and SIRVA-like injuries. Petitioner claims to the VICP for SIRVA rose from only 2.5% in 2011 to 41.9% in 2016.  Of those claims, 82.8% of conceded claims were made by women, and the average age of claimants was 51 years.  With an increase of reported injuries, the most common error was injection too high on the arm.  Most cases reported that pain began on the day of vaccination or the following day.  Healthcare providers evaluating patients provided opinions on whether or not they believed the shoulder injury was related to vaccination and most (71.9%) believed the injury was caused by the vaccination.  Of those evaluated, 80.7% of cases had an MRI of the shoulder performed with findings of tendonitis, tendinosis, or tendinopathy, complete or partial rotator cuff tears, and bursitis. Physical or occupational therapy was commonly prescribed as treatment, along with steroid injections, and approximately 1/3 of the cases had surgery.  

            Although most of the conditions listed on the Vaccine Injury Table are rare conditions, SIRVA accounts for approximately 1% of all primary care visits in the United States.  Although reported cases of SIRVA to the VICP have substantially increased, SIRVA is still relatively uncommon.    Those who develop SIRVA may be entitled to compensation under the VICP.

You can contact us about SIRVA or another possible Vaccine Injury by visiting our Contact page or using our Live Chat feature on any of our pages.  And you can learn more about the VICP and the firm's representation of persons with possible Vaccine Injury claims by visiting the Vaccine Injury page and other articles in our Blog. You can also email us directly at [email protected] or [email protected].

About the Author

Richard H. Moeller

Richard, a partner since 1996, has a broad practice, but practices primarily in litigated matters (vaccine injury, discrimination, & foreclosures), appellate practice, banking law, personal injury law, product liability, trial law at both the state and federal level.


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