As of March 2017, SIRVA injuries resulting from the flu vaccine became classified as table injuries under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.
What exactly is a SIRVA injury? Medical literature reports that mild transient shoulder pain or discomfort in the deltoid muscle is a common side effect of vaccination, and is not the basis for a claim under the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. On the other hand, severe and persistent pain resulting in limited range of motion and other symptoms is rare, and may be the basis for a claim. What causes a SIRVA injury? SIRVA injuries are thought to occur when the vaccine is mistakenly administered into the deltoid bursa, or joint space. The injury is a result of the needle itself and/or possibly an immune reaction to the pharmacological components of the vaccine itself. These injuries are thought to occur almost exclusively as a result of improper injection technique. For example, vaccines must be placed in areas where injuries to nerves, blood vessels and tissue are least likely to occur. The needle length must also be appropriate for the particular patient. Healthcare providers administering injections are trained on how to administer an injection properly. Failure to use appropriate injection techniques can result in injury. However, it is also a thought that even with appropriate injection technique, injury from the vaccine itself can occur, though rare. Interestingly, there are fewer reported injuries in children, perhaps because in younger children vaccines are often administered in the thigh to avoid risk of injury to the shoulder joint. Shoulder injuries related to vaccine administration are now being reported more frequently. If you believe you or a family member has sustained an injury as a result of a flu vaccination, you may be entitled to compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.