What is SIRVA? 

SIRVA, or Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration, manifests as shoulder pain and limited range of motion occurring as a result of the administration of a vaccine injection.  While some degree of pain may be expected from any shoulder injection, the improper administration of a vaccine can cause severe, often debilitating, pain, which can lead to complications.  Pain lasting longer than a few days is not associated with the normal side effects of receiving a vaccination.

What are the most common SIRVA diagnoses?

The most common diagnoses associated with SIRVA are brachial plexus, torn rotator cuff, frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis, shoulder bursitis, shoulder tendinitis, ulnar neuropathy and shoulder impingement syndrome.

Brachial neuritis, which can be caused by a poorly administered vaccine, is not technically a SIRVA injury.  In fact, it is a form of peripheral neuropathy that is typically characterized by pain or loss of function in the nerves that carry signals to and from the brain and spinal cord (the central nervous system) to the shoulder and arm region.

Why does SIRVA happen?

The relevant medical and scientific literature suggests that SIRVA is due to an inflammatory effect from vaccine administration into the subdeltoid bursa. This inflammatory response may be due either to the antigenic or nonantigenic components of the vaccine (antimicrobial, preservative, etc). They based these assumptions on the consistent presentations of adhesive capsulitis (as demonstrated by the patient's pain, lack of motion, weakness, and impaired mobility/functionality) and multiple noted pathologies on imaging, more than would be expected by the trauma of vaccination.

Approximately 70% of cases are shoulder injuries from the flu shot which are most commonly administered to adults.  It is thought that the flu shot is the most common cause of SIRVA injuries simply due to the sheer volume of flu shots administered to the general public year after year.  It is important to note that any vaccine that is administered improperly can cause a SIRVA injury.

What are the legal options for a SIRVA case?

SIRVA injuries are the most commonly litigated injury in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.  You cannot sue the administrator (family doctor, nurse, pharmacy, employer, etc.) of the vaccine that improperly injected the vaccine into your arm.  

Since these cases must be filed in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in Washington, D.C., these cases cannot be handled by a local personal injury attorney unless they are admitted to the United States Court of Federal Claims, which 99% of personal injury attorneys are not.  

Pennsylvania, New Jersey, & Delaware Vaccine Injury Attorney

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At Green & Schafle LLC, we have skilled vaccine lawyers, licensed in the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program and the United States Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C. who are ready to represent your interests.  Our licensed vaccine attorneys have been representing vaccine-injured clients nationwide for the last decade and they are actively involved in the Vaccine Injured Petitioners Bar Association, the national organization dedicated to the representation of individuals with vaccine injuries.  If you know someone with a shoulder injury from a vaccine, let us know so that a free legal consultation can be given to you or a loved one.