Blog Post

What Is Sirva, and Why Are Are More People Filing Sirva Claims in the Vicp?

The Greenwood Law Firm Feb. 9, 2018

SIRVA stands for Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration. Symptoms of SIRVA include swelling, redness, and tenderness at the injection site, shoulder pain, and limited range of motion in the arm where the injection was administered. SIRVA is not related to the type of vaccine being administered; rather, SIRVA occurs when the needle used to inject a vaccine damages the muscles in the shoulder where the vaccine was administered.

Many doctors and nurses may not recognize the symptoms of SIRVA which can make diagnosis and treatment of SIRVA difficult. Additionally, doctors and nurses are often reluctant to discuss vaccine-related injuries with the patients out of fear that this will lead a patient to refuse all vaccinations. However, these injuries are relatively common and the risk of potential injury should be taken very seriously.

The first case study examining the relationship between shoulder injuries and vaccine administration was published in 2007. The study advocated for health care providers to take more caution when administering vaccines and diagnosing shoulder pain and weakness following a vaccine injection which may explain why more individuals are filing SIRVA claims in the Program. As of the beginning of December 2017, there were 3,386 cases of reported injection site pain, swelling, and decreased limb mobility.

Additionally, in 2017, SIRVA was added to the Vaccine Injury Table, a list of vaccine injury complications created by the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program which makes it easier and quicker for victims of these complications receive compensation. According to the vaccine injury table, “a vaccine recipient shall be considered to have suffered SIRVA” if they meet the following criteria: no history of pain, inflammation, or dysfunction of the affected shoulder prior to receiving the vaccine, the pain occurs no later than 2 days after receiving the vaccine, pain and reduced range of motion occur only in the shoulder where the shot was given, and there are no other conditions that could explain the pain.”

If you or a loved one was injured by SIRVA, please contact The Greenwood Law Firm for a free consultation.