Fact: Shots can cause Shoulder Injuries

“A flu shot can cause a shoulder injury?” Shock, confusion, and denial are usually the reactions we get when telling people about SIRVA (shoulder injury resulting from vaccine administration). We get it, most people have never heard of SIRVA and most have only experienced the quick sting that comes from getting their annual flu shot. It’s not uncommon for medical professionals to not even know about it or to deny that a flu shot was the cause of the injury. However, if you are experiencing shoulder pain after receiving a flu shot it is important to go to your doctor and seek treatment. 

The Mayo clinic advises that minor shoulder pain should be treated with ice, rest, and pain relievers. However, if you have intense shoulder pain and/or are unable to move your arm away from your body, you should seek immediate medical attention. It is common that SIRVA is initially treated with anti-inflammatory medications such as prednisone, physical therapy, and sometimes cortisone injections. 

We understand that seeking treatment comes at a cost, however it is very important to seek medical attention and to advise your providers of your pain as soon as possible. Severe pain and lack of mobility are NOT common side effects of the flu shot and need to be addressed. 

Do I need a diagnosis of SIRVA tp contact you or have a claim? 

No, as noted above it is not uncommon for doctors to have never heard of the term “SIRVA” and therefore not unusual to not have a diagnosis of it. Diagnoses that we often see with a SIRVA injury include frozen shoulder, bursitis, impingement, tendinitis, adhesive capsulitis, rotator tear and SLAP tear. If you have received any of these diagnoses after having a vaccination please reach out to discuss the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) with us. When you contact us, you will speak with an attorney, either myself or Richard Moeller. There is no charge for contacting us and you will find that we are kind, compassionate, and knowledgeable attorneys who are happy to chat with you!


It still happens.  When we are contacted by someone who are experiencing shoulder problems after a flu shot, they often tell us that they had no idea the two could be connected.  They are surprised to learn that they are not alone, that there is even a term for it—SIRVA—recognized by the federal Department of Health and Human Services.  It stands for Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration, and can also be caused by other vaccinations, such as a tetanus shot.

Fortunately, awareness of SIRVA is growing, including local news broadcasts.  Some of these feature stories attribute the rise in SIRVA injuries to improper administration.  However, it is important to know that persons making claims for SIRVA to the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) are generally not required to prove the shot was administered incorrectly.  This is because if the shoulder pain starts within 48 hours of the shot, the VICP presumes it was caused by vaccination, regardless of how the shot was given.

You can contact us about SIRVA or another possible Vaccine Injury by visiting our Contact page or using our Live Chat feature on any of our pages.  And you can learn more about the VICP and the firm’s representation of persons with possible Vaccine Injury claims by visiting the Vaccine Injury page and other articles in our Blog. You can also email us directly at RMoeller@MooreHeffernanLaw.Com or NNobbe@MooreHeffernanLaw.Com.