For Some, Seasonal Flu Vaccine Leads to Shoulder Pain

The seasonal influenza shot is a yearly vaccination administered to protect against contracting the flu. Influenza can be a very serious illness for some people, especially for populations such young children, adults over the age of 65, and individuals with compromised immune systems or other underlying health problems. Each year, one in five Americans becomes sick with the flu. This statistic has devastating consequences for the economy which loses billions each year due to the flu as a result of loss of productivity, lost work hours, and increased medical expenses.

One of the more common problems faced by health officials when developing a vaccine is determining which strain of flu to prevent against each year. Scientists develop the vaccine before flu season begins by predicting which strains are likely to be the most common during the upcoming year.

Since the flu virus changes its genetic composition often, scientists regularly reformate the vaccine. This requires that people take a flu shot every year. Because there is no way to determine which strains will be the most common, strains that mutate can become impossible for flu vaccines to prevent. Because of this difficulty, scientists work to develop vaccines that can adapt to mutating strains more quickly.

Side effects from flu shots are rare and typically limited to manageable symptoms. Symptoms of the flu shot can include things like muscle aches and pain, fever, headache, coughing and fainting and swelling or soreness at the injection site. In some rare cases, however, side effects of the flu shot can be far more serious.

Other possible side effects from the flu vaccine or other injections are severe shoulder pain, rotator cuff injury, frozen shoulder, reduced range of motion, pain in the subacrimonal bursa, and loose body tissue. Such injuries are better known as Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration, or SIRVA. These injuries generally result not from the vaccine’s contents, but from injections of a vaccine that are given at the wrong angle or too high up on the shoulder, or if the vaccine’s needle over-penetrates the individual’s deltoid muscle. In some cases, surgery can be required to correct the damage.

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program compensates individuals injured by vaccines. The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program covers many common vaccines, including tetanus, MMR, DTaP, seasonal flu vaccine, hepatitis A and B, HPV, and meningitis.


If you have suffered from a negative reaction following vaccination, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, shoulder pain, frozen shoulder, lost range of motion, or any other illness after vaccination, you may need a qualified vaccine attorney. Vaccine attorney Leah Durant is available to provide you with a free telephone consultation to evaluate your claim. Costs and fees for this vaccine attorney’s legal representation are paid by the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and come at no financial cost to you. To learn more, contact the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC at (202)775-9200 or Leah Durant represents clients nationwide and is available to speak with you, to determine if a remedy exists for you.


Categories: Flu Vaccine, Guillain-Barre Syndrome (Flu GBS), National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration or SIRVA

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