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4 min read

Is SIRVA permanent? Does it go away?

SIRVA (Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration) results from incorrect vaccine injection techniques, leading to shoulder pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. SIRVA often requires medical treatment and does not typically resolve on its own. Treatment options include physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and possibly steroid injections to improve mobility.

Immediate medical attention is necessary to manage symptoms effectively and prevent long-term complications. Without appropriate intervention, symptoms can persist for weeks to years, impacting daily activities and overall quality of life.

Key Takeaways

  • SIRVA, or Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration, can occur due to improper vaccine injection technique, leading to persistent shoulder pain and limited mobility.
  • Symptoms of SIRVA include persistent shoulder and arm pain, limited range of motion, weakness, tenderness, and swelling.
  • SIRVA symptoms typically manifest shortly after receiving a vaccine injection, but in rare cases, they may be delayed by up to a week.
  • While SIRVA symptoms can improve with proper care and treatment, some individuals may experience chronic pain or stiffness lasting for months or even years.
  • Seeking medical attention promptly is crucial for accurate diagnosis and appropriate management of SIRVA-related symptoms.
  • Legal assistance may be necessary for filing a SIRVA claim and pursuing compensation through the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, especially for those experiencing significant impairment or long-term complications.

What is SIRVA?

SIRVA stands for "Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration." It refers to a specific type of injury that can occur when a vaccine is improperly administered, typically damaging the shoulder joint and surrounding tissues. This injury can lead to persistent shoulder pain, limited range of motion, weakness, and other symptoms. SIRVA is recognized as a rare but significant adverse reaction to vaccinations.

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How do you get SIRVA?

SIRVA, or Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration, occurs when a vaccine is administered too high on the arm, injecting directly into the shoulder capsule instead of the intended deltoid muscle. This misplacement can result in various complications, including the accidental injection into the bursa sac surrounding the shoulder joint. When the vaccine enters this sensitive area, it triggers inflammation, causing significant pain and restricting mobility. This condition underscores the importance of precise administration techniques to mitigate the risk of such complications and make sure vaccinations' safe and effective delivery.

What are the symptoms of SIRVA?

Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA) manifests with a range of symptoms, including:

  • Persistent Shoulder Pain: Individuals often experience ongoing discomfort in the shoulder region, which can range from mild to severe.
  • Arm Pain: Pain may also radiate down the arm, affecting mobility and daily activities.
  • Limited Range of Motion: A notable sensation of stiffness or restriction in shoulder movement is common.
  • Weakness: Some individuals may notice decreased strength or ability to perform tasks involving the affected shoulder.
  • Tenderness and Swelling: The shoulder area may feel tender to the touch, and swelling may indicate inflammation.
  • Impaired Function: In severe cases, SIRVA can lead to significant impairment, causing difficulty performing routine tasks and affecting overall quality of life.

Understanding these symptoms is crucial for prompt identification and treatment of SIRVA-related issues.

How long does it take for SIRVA symptoms to appear?

Symptoms of SIRVA typically manifest shortly after receiving the vaccination injection. While some individuals may experience symptoms immediately, others may notice them within 48 hours. However, in rare instances, the onset of symptoms may be delayed and occur up to a week after vaccination. Monitoring for any unusual sensations or discomfort following vaccination is essential, especially in the shoulder area.

How long does SIRVA last?

The duration of SIRVA can vary widely among individuals, depending on factors such as the severity of the injury and the effectiveness of treatment. While many individuals may experience improvement in symptoms within a few weeks with proper care, others may face more prolonged recovery periods. Chronic pain, frozen shoulder, and stiffness lasting for months or even years are possible complications of SIRVA. Seeking timely medical attention is necessary for accurate diagnosis and appropriate management to minimize the impact of SIRVA-related symptoms.

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Can SIRVA go away on its own?

Unfortunately, in most cases, SIRVA does not go away independently. The best action is to seek medical attention as soon as possible to determine appropriate treatment and manage your symptoms. Without proper diagnosis and treatment, you may experience shoulder pain and other symptoms associated with the condition.

Can SIRVA be treated?

Rehabilitative physical therapy can often lessen or completely alleviate SIRVA symptoms. To tackle milder cases, patients may use analgesics and anti-inflammatories. Steroidal injections could help them regain a portion of their shoulder range of motion. Sometimes the most effective approach is combining multiple treatment methods for optimal outcomes. For example?

What vaccines may involve SIRVA?

Receiving a vaccine on the shoulder carries an inherent risk of SIRVA due to potential improper technique, particularly when administering flu shots. Since these vaccinations are so frequent, those who give them may need to be adequately trained. Tetanus shots also have this same risk associated with them.

What are the SIRVA injuries that are included on the Vaccine Injury Table?

Typically, the signs and symptoms of a reaction to a vaccine start to appear within 48 hours after the vaccination and may include any of the following: 

You can find more detailed information on the vaccine injury table with our useful breakdown.

How do I file a SIRVA claim?

While it's simpler than pursuing a lawsuit against vaccine manufacturers, there are still important steps to follow. Seeking guidance from a seasoned vaccine injury lawyer is key. 

They'll assist you in gathering necessary documents and navigating the process smoothly. Once you provide all relevant details of your injury, they'll handle the evidence collection and paperwork.

Hiring a SIRVA Lawyer with My Vaccine Lawyer

When seeking legal assistance with a vaccine injury claim, you should look for an attorney with specialized expertise in this area. Vaccine cases are drastically different from other pharmaceutical injury claims and have guidelines to follow.

It is important to find counsel who has experience handling such matters. Making sure your lawyer is well-versed in vaccine compensation claims will make the process simpler and much more straightforward.

Are you or a loved one suffering from shoulder pain due to receiving a vaccine? Allow My Vaccine Lawyer to guide you through your case. Our experienced attorneys are the premier leaders in litigating SIRVA cases and are ready to discuss your situation with complimentary consultations. Reach out today for expert legal counsel!

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Meet the Author

Leigh Finfer - Associate Attorney

Leigh A. Finfer is a vaccine and personal injury attorney at Muller Brazil and My Vaccine Lawyer. Mrs. Finfer has been with the firm since June 2018 and her practice includes representing vaccine injury victims, personal injury victims, and those who suffer injuries as a result of unsafe drugs and medical devices.

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