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COVID-19 Vaccine UpdateAug. 26, 2022, 3:32 p.m.

SIRVA (Shoulder Injury) & Vaccines

Shoulder Injury

One of the most common pieces of misinformation given to individuals who have experienced immediate pain after a flu shot is that their pain is "normal" and will resolve in a couple weeks. Not only is this information wrong and contrary to the relevant medical literature, but it also leaves individuals that are suffering from severe shoulder injuries with the incorrect belief that their injury will resolve spontaneously. The reality is that shoulder soreness and discomfort at the injection-site that persists beyond 48 hours after injection is not normal. Severe pain, decreased range of motion, pain upon shoulder movement, decreased strength or any other symptoms around the shoulder joint, may indicate that you are experiencing a Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration, or SIRVA.

How Does SIRVA Occur?

When administering a vaccine, Doctors and nurses are properly trained in “landmarking,” or determining where a vaccine should be given in the arm and using the proper needle length. When a needle is injected too deep, or too high on the shoulder, the deltoid muscle can be penetrated and structures within the shoulder can be damaged such as the rotator cuff or joint capsule, resulting in inflammation in the shoulder joint and signifying a SIRVA Injury. In very rare cases the axillary or radial nerves in the upper arm could be injured.

How Do I Know if I Have SIRVA or Normal Shoulder Pain (After Flu Shot)?

The main symptoms of SIRVA include persistent shoulder pain and a limited range of motion. The keys to distinguishing SIRVA are that the symptoms typically begin within 48 hours of vaccine administration and that they do not improve with ibuprofen or NSAIDs. Patients will often visit their physician months later because they are not able to carry out daily tasks that were possible before the vaccination. These patients are often diagnosed with inflammatory injuries such as bursitis, rotator cuff tears, and adhesive capsulitis. In summary, temporary and mild shoulder soreness within three days of a vaccine should not be confused with a SIRVA. Many times, SIRVA may seem like ordinary shoulder soreness for a few days, but if you have experienced ongoing shoulder pain in the days and weeks following a flu shot, it is more likely than not that you are suffering from shoulder bursitis, a rotator cuff injury or adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder).

Are There Different Types of SIRVA?

SIRVA patients are often diagnosed with inflammatory injuries such as bursitis, rotator cuff tears, and adhesive capsulitis. Many times, SIRVA may seem like ordinary shoulder soreness for a few days, but if you have experienced ongoing shoulder pain in the days and weeks following a vaccine, it is more likely than not that you are suffering from shoulder bursitis, a rotator cuff injury or adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder).

Does SIRVA Go Away?

Unfortunately, SIRVA usually takes about 2 years to resolve. SIRVA is treatable with aggressive medical intervention of anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs), physical therapy and/or cortisone injections. Even with medical intervention, many people continue to have lingering effects of their SIRVA injury for life. In some circumstances, a certain percentage of individuals require surgery.

Is There Treatment For SIRVA?

Treatment of a SIRVA Injury can range from using conventional approaches such as physical therapy and taking over the counter pain relievers (Aleve, Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, etc.) for pain management to more aggressive treatments including cortisone injections, shoulder manipulation techniques and surgical intervention. If you have experienced a SIRVA Vaccine Injury, Please report your symptoms and complaints to your family doctor as soon as possible. Pay particular attention to when your symptoms began so you can report the correct timing to your doctor. Please follow your doctor’s medical treatment plan for dealing with your shoulder injury.

If you believe that you have experienced a shoulder injury from a vaccine injection, we recommend you follow these steps: 1. Obtain a copy of your vaccine consent form, especially if you received a vaccine at a pharmacy (CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Publix, etc.) or through your employer. This document is critical for proving that you received a vaccine and is required by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to be considered for compensation. 2. Report your symptoms and complaints to your family doctor as soon as possible. Pay particular attention to when your symptoms began so you can report the correct timing to your doctor. 3. Follow your doctor’s medical treatment plan for dealing with your shoulder injury. Treatment plans can begin conservatively with ice, rest, and over- the-counter Ibuprofens, and can escalate to prescription medications and physical therapies. 4. Consult with a licensed vaccine attorney to discuss how to best proceed with legal remedies through the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. The statute of limitations for shoulder injury cases is three (3) years from date your shoulder symptoms began. 5. Continue to follow up with your doctor for treatment in order to document your progress to make sure you are effectively treating your shoulder injury. 6. After presenting to your family doctor, it is common for your family doctor to refer you to an orthopedist or sports medicine doctor, and physical therapy. Shoulder injuries are unique to each individual and so one treatment plan may work from one person, but may not work for another. There is a lot of trial and error to see how one progresses. Be active and dedicated through your doctors to find the best treatment plan that works for you. Remember, all SIRVA cases must be filed in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program so you will not have to worry about suing your family doctor, nurse or pharmacist that administered the vaccine. In fact, we rely on family doctors and pharmacists in helping us document your shoulder injury.

Can a COVID-19 Vaccine cause SIRVA (Shoulder Injury)?

With multiple COVID-19 Vaccines now available to the public, their is a chance that if administered incorrectly in a patients shoulder, they may develop SIRVA (Shoulder Injury related to Vaccine Administration.) There is a chance that the COVID-19 Vaccine will be added to the NVICP Vaccine Injury Table. This means that if the vaccine is added to the vaccine injury table, an individual that suffers from SIRVA after a COVID-19 Vaccine injection, will be able to petition the government for compensation. If you are suffering from persistent shoulder pain (shoulder injury SIRVA) after receiving a COVID-19 Vaccine you may be able to petition the government for compensation. The Vaccine Awareness Center can connect you with an experienced vaccine lawyer for a free case review and provide additional information about your legal rights.

How to Prove SIRVA Shoulder Injury?

If you believe that you have experienced a shoulder injury from a vaccine injection (SIRVA), we recommend you obtain a copy of your vaccine consent form, especially if you received a vaccine at a pharmacy (CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Publix, etc.) or through your employer. This document is critical for proving that you received a vaccine and is required by the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to be considered for compensation for your shoulder injury. The shoulder injury must last for more than six months or result in inpatient hospitalization or surgical intervention. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program will automatically assume vaccination caused SIRVA if the shoulder injury occurred within 48 hours of receiving the vaccine.

How Do I File a Vaccine Injury Claim for SIRVA?

To receive compensation for a SIRVA Vaccine Injury, you must file a legal document known as a petition with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. A petition is usually a few pages long and it lays out the facts of your claim. The petition must include: the name of the person who received the vaccine, the date and place of the vaccination, a specific description of the vaccine injury alleged and whether the injury claimed is on the Vaccine Injury Table. If you believe that you have experienced a shoulder injury from a vaccine injection (SIRVA), the Vaccine Awareness Center can connect you with an experienced vaccine lawyer for a free case review and provide additional information about your legal rights.



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