The Growing Risk of Shoulder Injuries from Vaccinations

When you go in to a clinic, pharmacy, doctor’s office or other location to receive a vaccination, if you are like most people, you roll up your sleeve and then look the other way. If you are like most people, you are not particularly concerned with watching where the needle goes – and you probably don’t care as long as the process is over as quickly and painlessly as possible.

But, for some people, the pain doesn’t go away. This is because the precise location where someone receives their vaccination can play a critical role in determining whether they suffer a shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA). With schools, workplaces, and even grocery stores administering vaccines such as flu shots, some doctors are reporting that instances of SIRVA are on the rise.

Why are More Vaccine Recipients Experiencing SIRVA?

While doctors rarely diagnosed shoulder injuries related to vaccination in the past, the diagnosis has become more prevalent in recent years. This is due in large part to a growing acceptance of the link between vaccinations and various types of serious shoulder pain and injuries. Among other reliable sources, the Institute of Medicine issued a report in 2011 in which it identified, “convincing evidence of a causal relationship between injection of vaccine . . . and [shoulder injuries] characterized by shoulder pain and loss of motion.”

Part of the problem seems to be that vaccines are increasingly being administered outside of hospitals and doctor’s offices. While doctors and nurses in the clinical setting can certainly make mistakes as well, some suggest that it is more likely for common administration errors to occur under less-controlled circumstances.

For example, one of the most common – and simplest – errors involves simply not having the vaccine recipient expose the correct portion of his or her arm for the injection. In general, vaccines should be administered to the middle part of the shoulder muscle, below the bursa and rotator cuff. However, if the recipient is only asked to pull aside his or her collar, the vaccine can end up being injected into the top of the deltoid – now a well-known risk factor for various forms of SIRVA. In other cases, the person administering the vaccine simply sticks the patient too far up his or her arm.

Living with SIRVA

Vaccine recipients who suffer from shoulder injury related to vaccine administration often experience prolonged pain, stiffness, lack of mobility, and other symptoms. According to the deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s immunization safety office, injections administered too high on the shoulder place patients at increased risk for chronic complications. Severe forms of SIRVA may even require surgery. With the potential for long-term consequences from these avoidable vaccine injuries, SIRVA victims are strongly advised to enforce their right to claim financial compensation.

Contact Vaccine Lawyer Leah Durant about Your Shoulder Injury

If you started experiencing pain, stiffness, inflammation or other symptoms after receiving a vaccination in your shoulder, you may be entitled to financial compensation under the federal government’s Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). To find out if you have a claim under the VICP, contact the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC today.


Categories: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration or SIRVA, vaccine injury

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