Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA)

What is SIRVA? Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration is a wound to the upper arm or shoulder caused by a misplaced vaccine injection. It typically happens when the needle penetrates too deep or too high up in the shoulder muscle, but SIRVA may also occur after the proper administration of an injection.

SIRVA has other variants, such as:

  • Tendinopathy
  • Post-injection inflammatory reaction
  • Bursitis
  • Granuloma
  • Frozen Shoulder Syndrome
  • Supraspinatus injury
  • Subacromial bursa effusion
  • Adhesive Capsulitis
  • Subacromial bursitis
  • Parsonage-Turner syndrome
  • Ulnar neuropathy
  • Subdeltoid bursitis
  • Bicipital tendonitis
  • Radiculopathy
  • Brachial neuritis
  • Osteonecrosis
  • Humerus contusions
  • Impingement syndrome
  • Complex regional pain syndrome
  • Rotator cuff injury

SIRVA Causes

Can SIRVA be prevented? The answer is not a simple one.

Data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) indicates that SIRVA cases in the US are increasing. The shoulder injury usually occurs after an injection enters the upper portion of the deltoid muscle and pierces the bursa sac or rotator cuff.

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  • The rotator cuff consists of the muscles and tendons that secure the upper arm bone to the shallow socket of the shoulder.
  • The bursa sac contains the lubricating fluid that minimizes friction between the tissues and bones in the shoulder.

Injecting a vaccine into either of these parts of the shoulder may cause short-term mobility issues or permanent range of motion problems in the injected arm.

Among all the possible vaccines, influenza shots cause about 70% of SIRVA cases. The two main reasons for the high number of flu shot-related SIRVA cases are location and skill:

  • Unlike other vaccines, flu vaccinations go into the arm’s deltoid muscle.
  • Inexperienced healthcare providers often perform flu shot administrations.

Other vaccines that the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) recognizes as possible causes of SIRVA include, but are not limited to:

Reaction from Vaccines

Most patients receive vaccinations without complications, but others react to compounds within the vaccine or suffer long-term injuries from misplaced injections. The contents of a vaccine usually do not cause SIRVA, however. It is the inoculation needle entering the wrong part of the shoulder that poses the problem.

If you develop SIRVA after vaccination, and you believe it was the cause, submitting a petition to the VICP is the most effective way to seek compensation.

Note that if the vaccination that caused your SIRVA is not on the Vaccine Injury Table, the VICP may not accept the compensation claim. Feel free to contact our SadakaFirm professionals for more information.

Signs or Symptoms of SIRVA

Most vaccination injections leave patients with temporary pain. However, if the discomfort persists days after the injection, it may be a sign of Shoulder Injury Related Vaccine Administration.

SIRVA symptoms typically start within 48 hours of a vaccine shot into the deltoid muscle. The initial sign is often a sudden or persistent shoulder pain that limits the arm’s range of motion.

Below is a clearer explanation of the symptoms:

  • Brachial Neuritis occurs as inflammation that triggers sudden shoulder pain. Weakness or numbness of the affected shoulder or arm may follow.
  • Adhesive Capsulitis, also called Frozen Shoulder, causes stiffness and pain in the shoulder. Physical therapy is usually enough, while surgery is necessary for severe cases.
  • Reduced Range of Motion is typical of SIRVA, limiting the affected arm’s mobility. Most patients lose muscle strength and motor function temporarily, while others suffer long-term damage.
  • Tendonitis causes inflammation of the tissue holding the shoulder muscles and bones together. It can impede the arm’s range of motion and cause severe discomfort.
  • Shoulder Bursitis occurs when the vaccination punctures the bursa sac. It leads to inflammation, infection, and in extreme cases, sepsis.

Symptoms may occur singularly or simultaneously or intensify as the condition deteriorates. Do not dismiss the vaccination as a possible cause of swelling, pain, or stiffness in your arm, even if the symptoms occur months after the shot. Rather, visit a hospital as soon as you notice any discomfort.

A medical opinion lets you build evidence to support the reparation petition that you will submit to the VICP. Also, contact our SadakaFirm vaccine attorney to explain your rights and financial compensation options.

SIRVA Treatments

Some patients recover from SIRVA within six months, while others live with the condition for several years. In the worst cases, the injury causes lifelong damage.

The pain caused by SIRVA can be debilitating, and lifting objects with the affected arm becomes impossible. It hinders a person’s ability to work and earn a living, which is why compensation for treatment and lost wages is essential.

A person that experiences intense shoulder pain after vaccination should contact their doctor immediately. An orthopedic surgeon will perform an MRI scan to verify whether the patient has SIRVA and whether it is due to inflammation, swelling, tearing, or fluid collection in the upper arm.

For mild SIRVA cases, the prescribed treatment is two to three sessions of physical therapy per week over a few months. If physical therapy does not yield results, the doctor may prescribe corticosteroid injections to decrease the inflammation and pain.

According to a 2013 report published by the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, 30% of vaccine-related SIRVA cases require surgery to alleviate shoulder pain. The surgery repairs damage to the bones, bursa, or tendons in the affected area.

You only have 3 years to file a claim.

It's important that you start the process as soon as possible.
See If You Have a Case


How can I tell if my shoulder pain after a flu shot is related to SIRVA?

Typical symptoms of SIRVA are persistent shoulder pain and reduced mobility of the affected limb. The discomfort is different from what you’d normally experience after an injection in the arm.

If the pain does not abate 48 hours after receiving a shot, it might be a SIRVA symptom.

For an accurate diagnosis, visit a doctor. If an examination and MRI verifies that you have vaccine-related SIRVA, contact a vaccine injury lawyer to discuss your options.

Can a COVID-19 vaccine cause SIRVA?

SIRVA happens after an injection needle penetrates the bursa or rotator cuff. SIRVA can result from any wrongly injected vaccine into the upper arm, including COVID-19.

The COVID-19 vaccine is yet to appear for public use, and it is not certain whether this product will be in injection form. If it is, it will still be a while before the VICP adds COVID-19 vaccines to the Vaccine Injury Table.

How do I prove SIRVA for compensation?

If you suspect that your shoulder injury is due to a vaccine shot, make a copy of your vaccine consent form. The VICP requires this document as evidence that you received the vaccine. You will also need to provide proof of requiring medical treatment after receiving the shot.

SIRVA must have led to inpatient hospitalization or surgical intervention or lasted for a minimum of six months to qualify as a serious case. If you have proof that the shoulder injury occurred within 48 hours of the vaccination, the VICP will automatically assume a causal link.

Can I file a SIRVA vaccine injury petition?

Working with our vaccine injury lawyer makes filing for compensation under the VICP easier. We will file the necessary legal documents on your behalf to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

A petition will lay out all the facts of your case, including:

  • Your name
  • The vaccination injury
  • When and where you received the vaccination

Is it free to file a petition for vaccine injury compensation?

Vaccine injury cases under the VICP do not cost as much as regular civil cases, but it is not free. If your petition is successful, the compensation awarded by the VICP should cover your legal expenses and more.

Can I win a SIRVA injury claim?

Over the years, the VICP has paid over $70 million to around 500 petitioners with shoulder injuries from vaccine shots. In 2016 alone, over 200 SIRVA injury claimants received nearly $30 million in compensation from the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

If you can prove that you have SIRVA and a vaccination caused it, your chances of receiving compensation from the government are high. Your chances are even better when you work with a vaccine injury lawyer like SadakaFirm.

What is the statute of limitations for filing a vaccine-related SIRVA injury claim?

The VICP’s statute of limitations for vaccine injury claims is strict—you must file a petition within three years of experiencing the first SIRVA symptom. If the injury led to death, which is unusual in SIRVA cases, you must file a claim within four years after the first symptom (or two years after the death).

How SadakaFirm assists with SIRVA Vaccine Injury

If you or a loved one received a SIRVA diagnosis after a vaccination, contact our legal professionals. We will help you prepare your case and file a petition before the appropriate parties. Our firm has helped over 180 people win compensation through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

Give us a call today to evaluate your case. One of our experienced vaccine injury lawyers will provide all the information and assistance you need.


$31,490.02 settlement for a 42 year old woman from Michigan who developed brachial neuritis and a shoulder injury related to vaccine administration or SIRVA as a result of receiving the tetanus-diphtheria-acellular pertussis or Tdap vaccine.


$70,000 settlement for adult female who suffered from shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA) after receiving a TDaP vaccine.

You only have 3 years to file a claim.

It's important that you start the process as soon as possible.
See If You Have a Case


$50,447 settlement for adult male who suffered shoulder injury related to vaccine administration after receiving an influenza vaccine


$70,000.00 settlement for a young woman from Maryland who developed Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration or SIRVA as a result of the Tetanus-Diphtheria-acellular Pertussis vaccine or TDaP.


$75,000.00 settlement for a 76 year old woman from Georgia who developed a shoulder injury related to the administration of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine or SIRVA.


$65,000.00 settlement for a 49-year old woman from California who developed shoulder injury related to the administration of the influenza vaccine or SIRVA.


$30,000.00 settlement for a 54 year old woman from California who developed shoulder injury related to vaccine administration or SIRVA, acute neuropathy, paresthesia, and bilateral upper extremity weakness as a result of the influenza vaccine.


$50,447.94 settlement for a gentlemen from WI who developed shoulder injury related to vaccine administration or SIRVA to include upper brachial plexopathy, Parsonage-Turner syndrome, nerve pain, low-grade strain, subacromial bursitis, and subdeltoid bursitis as a result of receiving the flu vaccine.


You Only Have Three Years To File Your Claim

The first step in helping yourself or a loved one after a serious vaccine related injury is to contact us for a free review of your case.

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