Most everyone experiences some discomfort after getting a flu shot. It’s typically just the body’s natural response to the injection.
But there’s a big difference between that initial mild soreness that goes away after a day or two, and the sharp or unusually achey shoulder pain that lingers longer than a couple of days.
That sort of unexpected pain can actually be a symptom of a real and serious injury. In the medical and legal communities, this type of injury is known as a “Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration” or “SIRVA” for short. We have seen SIRVA injuries happening more and more over the last several years.
This sort of shoulder injury is usually the result of a flu shot injected too high on the shoulder. Each of us has what is called a bursa in our shoulder joints. The bursa is a fluid filled sac that helps the shoulder move and rotate. Administering the flu shot too high on the shoulder can puncture or damage the bursa resulting in a serious and painful shoulder injury.
Occasionally, the syringe can also be inserted too far into the shoulder muscle. Even if the bursa is not punctured, an injection made too deep into the shoulder can lead to other problems like painful tendon and nerve injuries.
Thankfully, if you develop a shoulder injury after getting a vaccine, the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program covers it. But there are a couple of key requirements that must be established to recover compensation:
- You can’t have a history of other injuries in the affected shoulder that might otherwise explain your current symptoms.
- The pain has to occur within a specified period of time.
- The pain and limited range of motion have to be limited to that shoulder.
You can read more about SIRVA here: https://www.verywell.com/shoulder-pain-when-throwing-3573528;http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/sirva-risk-every-vaccine