Report: SIRVA Cited in Half of New Vaccine Injury Lawsuits

Published on July 18, 2018 by Sandy Liebhard

Incidents of SIRVA, or Shoulder Injury Resulting from Vaccine Administration, may be on the rise, as half of all vaccine injury claims filed with the federal government last year involved this painful and potentially debilitating complication.

What is SIRVA?

SIRVA is a serious complication that usually occurs when vaccines are administered incorrectly. However, some people have reportedly experienced SIRVA even after proper vaccine administration.

Symptoms of the condition, which usually appear within mere moments and hours after vaccination, may include:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Limited shoulder mobility
  • Shoulder swelling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness or tingling in hands or fingers

Severe cases of SIRVA can result in debilitating and even permanent complications, such as:

  • Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder)
  • Brachial Neuritis
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries
  • Shoulder Bursitis
  • Tendonitis

SIRVA and the National Vaccine Injury Program

The National Vaccine Injury Program (NVICP) was established by the federal government to provide compensation to those harmed by vaccines. To date, it has paid out roughly $3.8 billion in claims.

The NVICP lists SIRVA as a covered injury for the following vaccines:

As such, SIRVA claimants are entitled to compensation, so long as symptoms begin within 48 hours of vaccines administration.

To date, the NVICP has paid out more than $76 million in SIRVA claims.

Federal Government Doesn’t Track SIRVA Incidents

According to an investigative report that recently aired on NBC News 4 in Washington, D.C., federal officials acknowledge that half of all new vaccine injury claims filed with the NVICP last year involved SIRVA.

While many of those cases were caused by incorrect vaccine administration, there is no mechanism to notify a shot-giver that they likely caused an injury. Thus, they would have no reason to seek additional training.

The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which administers the NVICP, told NBCS News 4 that it does not track or monitor incidents of SIRVA, even though the info is entered into the record with every compensation claim.

“We need to collect the data,” Maryland Sen. Van Hollen said in an interview with the station. “because you can’t make informed decisions if you don’t have the information to start with.”

“If you don’t inform the people who are doing it wrong, they’re not going to learn to do it right

CDC, HRSA Plan to Launch SIRVA Review

While the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has established an educational campaign to encourage correct vaccine administration, it does not maintain comprehensive data on SIRVA occurrences. However, the agency did recently inform NBC News 4 that it would be working with HRSA to conduct an epidemiologic review of the SIRVA claims submitted to the NVICP.

That review is expected to be completed 2019.

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