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.

The MMR Vaccine and the Risk of SIRVA

The MMR vaccine is administered by subcutaneous injection in the shoulder. This means that, like all injected vaccines, it carries the risk for shoulder injuries related to vaccine administration (SIRVA). These are a class of injuries that result from damage to the nerves, muscle or other soft tissue beneath the skin, and they can cause symptoms ranging from mild pain to severe muscle weakness and immobility.

Types of SIRVA linked to the MMR vaccine (and all other vaccines administered via shoulder injection) include:

  • Adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder)
  • Brachial neuritis
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Shoulder bursitis
  • Tendonitis

Common early symptoms of SIRVA include:

  • Pain at or near the injection site
  • Pain radiating through the arm and shoulder
  • Muscle weakness
  • Limited range of motion

What to Do if You Have Concerns about SIRVA After an MMR Injection

For individuals concerned about SIRVA following an MMR injection, it is important to seek medical attention promptly. In some cases, it may be possible to mitigate the effects of a vaccination error with prompt diagnosis and treatment. Obtaining a prompt diagnosis is also crucial to pursuing a successful claim under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) is a federal government program that pays financial compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering resulting from vaccine-related injuries. This includes SIRVA resulting from MMR vaccinations. In addition to seeking medical attention, in order to improve your chances of filing a successful VICP claim, it is also important to:

  • Keep copies of your vaccination and medical records
  • Keep copies of any records related to time you missed from work
  • Follow your doctor’s advice (or seek a second opinion, if desired)
  • Speak with a vaccine lawyer as soon as possible

Learn more: Should You File a Claim Under the VICP?

Schedule a Free Initial Consultation with Vaccine Lawyer Leah V. Durant

Our firm provides nationwide legal representation for individuals diagnosed with SIRVA and other vaccine-related injuries and illnesses. If you would like more information about filing a claim under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), we encourage you to call 202-800-1711 or contact us online for a complimentary initial consultation.

Leah Durant Bio

Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.