Is it SIRVA? Diagnosing Shoulder Pain Following a Vaccination

When you get a flu shot or other vaccination, it is normal to experience mild pain at the injection site. But, what if your pain lingers? What if it gets worse over time? What if you start to experience other effects, such as reduced strength or limited mobility in your shoulder? These are all possible symptoms of a class of injuries known as “shoulder injury related to vaccine administration,” or “SIRVA.”

Unlike other common vaccine injuries, SIRVA do not result from adverse reactions to particular vaccine ingredients. Instead, they result from damage to the muscle or other tissue in the shoulder as a result of mistakes made during the vaccination process. This includes mistakes such as inserting the needle in the wrong location, inserting the needle at the wrong angle and using a needle that is the wrong size for the vaccine recipient’s sex and weight. Continue reading

10 Key Facts about Vaccine Injury Claims

If you have been diagnosed with a vaccine-related injury, including a Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA), you may be entitled to recover your medical expenses and certain other losses under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Here are 10 key facts about filing a claim under the VICP:

1. The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is a Federal Initiative Designed to Protect Individuals Diagnosed with Vaccine Injuries.

The VICP is a federal government program that Congress established in 1988 for the sole purpose of making it easier for individuals diagnosed with vaccine injuries to recover financial compensation. Under the VICP, individuals diagnosed with vaccine injuries can collect money from the government instead of filing a lawsuit against the vaccine manufacturer in court. Continue reading

You’ve Been Diagnosed with SIRVA. What Now?

Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA) can take a variety of forms, each with its own effects and long-term prognosis. While most people diagnosed with SIRVA will eventually recover, recovery options vary, and a person’s individual health profile can have a significant impact on the challenges, costs and duration of the recovery process.

Under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), a SIRVA diagnosis has both medical and legal implications. While everyone’s circumstances are unique, here are some general steps that can aid in the medical and financial recovery processes: Continue reading

Understanding the Contraindications and Precautions for CDC-Recommended Vaccinations

While receiving vaccinations is a safe and effective means for combatting disease, there are certain diseases and medical conditions that can increase an individual’s risk of an adverse reaction or other negative side effects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) refer to these as “contraindications” and “precautions,” and it advises that:

“Contraindications (conditions in a recipient that increases the risk for a serious adverse reaction) and precautions to vaccination are conditions under which vaccines should not be administered. Because the majority of contraindications and precautions are temporary, vaccinations often can be administered later when the condition leading to a contraindication or precaution no longer exists. A vaccine should not be administered when a contraindication is present. . . . However, certain conditions are commonly misperceived as contraindications (i.e., are not valid reasons to defer vaccination).”

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Shoulder Pain After an MMR Vaccine? It Could Be a Sign of SIRVA

The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine has recently been in the news as a result of reports of measles outbreaks in several parts of the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), outbreaks have been reported in California, Illinois, New York, Texas and Washington, with more cases of measles already confirmed in 2019 (269 as of March 14) than all of 2016 and 2017 combined (206).

While the CDC recommends vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella for most individuals (with limited exceptions for pregnant women and individuals with certain other health conditions), “[d]uring an outbreak is when you see an influx of patients who would otherwise be vaccine-hesitant,” according to an infection control nurse in Washington quoted by CNN. Unfortunately, although getting the MMR vaccine can significantly reduce an individual’s risk of contracting measles, it carries certain risks as well. Continue reading

Enduring Shoulder Pain After a Vaccine Injection Isn’t Normal

With vaccine injections, it is normal to experience acute stinging or dull pain that dissipates in the hours following the vaccination. It is not normal for this pain to linger, worsen or spread to other parts of the arm or shoulder. Unfortunately, while this pain is not normal, studies show that it is becoming increasingly common. Continue reading

What Vaccine Recipients Need to Know about AIDP and CIDP

The risk of being diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is among the most serious risks associated with flu and tetanus vaccinations. Acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (AIDP) and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP) are variants of GBS that can have serious – and potentially fatal – consequences. Individuals who receive flu shots and tetanus booster shots should be aware of the symptoms of AIDP and CIDP, and parents should be prepared to seek medical attention at the first sign of either of these vaccine-related illnesses. Continue reading

When is Pain More than Just a Side Effect of a Vaccination?

“Any vaccine can cause side effects.” While all vaccines recommended for use in the U.S. are considered safe for the vast majority of the population (with exceptions for individuals with certain medical conditions), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wants vaccine recipients to be aware that certain side effects are possible.

However, the CDC also warns that, “[a]s with any medicine, there is a very remote chance of a vaccine causing a severe allergic reaction, other serious injury, or death.” Over the past five years, an average of roughly 1,000 people have filed petitions under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). So, while pain may simply be a side effect of a vaccination, it could also be a sign of a potentially-serious injury, and vaccine recipients should have an understanding of when they may need medical attention and when they may be entitled to compensation under the VICP. Continue reading

May is National Hepatitis Awareness Month

May is National Hepatitis Awareness Month, as recognized by the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This year, the CDC is encouraging individuals and families to learn more about the immunizations and treatment options for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B, as well as the risks associated with contracting Hepatitis C from sharing needles to inject drugs. Continue reading

FDA Approves “Six Vaccines in One”

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new vaccine that is being billed as “six vaccines in one.” As reported by Forbes.com:

“[T]he hexavalent Vaxelis is designed to offer protection against six diseases and significantly reduce the number of shots you need to get as a little kid. Thus, to be fully immunized against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, polio, and invasive haemophilus influenza type B disease, [children] will only have to get three doses of Vaxelis between… turning 6 weeks and turning 5 years old.”

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