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Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA)


Pain at the injection site of a vaccination is common. This pain is usually minor and short-lived. However, prolonged pain in the shoulder or arm after a vaccination may indicate a more serious condition known as a Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration, or SIRVA. Associated symptoms include soreness, tenderness, and weakness.


The proper placement of a vaccine in the shoulder is in the deltoid muscle. When a vaccine is improperly administered too high or at the wrong angle in the shoulder, the needle can be injected into the shoulder joint or bursa. This can result in injury to the tendons and ligaments of the shoulder or an immune-mediated inflammatory reaction.



Symptoms from SIRVA typically occur within 48 hours after vaccination.  Some common symptoms typically associated with SIRVA include: 

  • Pain in the Shoulder and/or Arm

  • Soreness in the Shoulder and/or Arm

  • Tenderness in the Shoulder and/or Arm

  • Swelling in and Around the Injection Site

  • Limited Range of Motion in the Shoulder and/or Arm

  • Shoulder and/or Arm Weakness

  • Shoulder and/or Arm Stiffness

  • Difficulty with the use of the affected Shoulder and/or Arm

  • Limitations with activities of daily living, including difficulty reaching, lifting, moving, getting dressed and undressed, and disturbed sleep.


Some common injuries associated with SIRVA include:


  • Shoulder Impingement

  • Bursitis

  • Adhesive capsulitis (also known as Frozen Shoulder) 

  • Tendinitis

  • Rotator Cuff Tear

  • Scar Tissue

  • Nerve Damage


There are many treatment options available to those suffering from SIRVA. Treatment options range from pain medication to surgery, depending on the degree of injury. A person suffering from SIRVA may be given the following treatment options:

  • Rest

  • Steroid Injections

  • Oral Steroid medications

  • Pain medication

  • Anti-inflammatory medication

  • Physical therapy

  • Surgery


The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program compensates for SIRVA injuries caused by the following vaccines:

  • Tetanus Toxoid Vaccines (such as DTaP, DTP, DT, Td, or TT)  

  • Pertussis Vaccines (such as DTP, DTaP, P, DTP-Hib) 

  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella Vaccines (such as MMR, MM, MMRV) 

  • Inactivated Polio Virus Vaccines (such as IPV)

  • Hepatitis A (such as HAV)

  • Hepatitis B (such as HBV) 

  • Haemophilus Influenzae type b Vaccines (such as Hib)

  • Varicella or Chickenpox Vaccines

  • Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccines (such as PCV)

  • Seasonal Influenza Vaccines (such as Flu)

  • Meningococcal Vaccines (such as MCV4, MPSV4, MenB-FHbp, MenB-4C)

  • Human Papillomavirus Vaccines (such as HPV)


If you or a loved one suffered a shoulder injury following a vaccination, contact a lawyer licensed to practice before the United States Court of Federal Claims. The attorneys at Zgheib Sayad, P.C. will be happy to explain the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to you and looks forward to helping you obtain compensation for your injury. For more information, please call (888) 276-2027 for a free consultation or fill out a contact form and a vaccine injury attorney will contact you.


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