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Could My Child’s Shoulder Pain Be the Result of a Flu Shot?

November 18, 2016 |

With the school year well underway and the holiday season right around the corner, millions of parents around the country have now had their children vaccinated against the flu. If you are among these parents and your child has complained of lingering shoulder pain following his or her flu shot, there is a chance that the two could be related.

How Flu Shots Can Lead to Shoulder Pain

Like all vaccines administered through an injection in the shoulder, the flu shot carries risks for a class of injuries known as, “shoulder injuries related to vaccine administration,” or “SIRVA.” While previously little-known, awareness of SIRVA is growing, and this is leading more people seek treatment and stand up for their legal rights. However, despite this growing awareness, many physicians, pharmacists, nurses and other medical professionals who administer flu shots continue to make mistakes that cause adults and children alike to experience painful vaccine-related shoulder injuries.

While there are certain risks (such as an allergic reaction) that relate to the chemical composition of individual vaccines, the risk of SIRVA exists across the vaccination spectrum. Why? Because vaccine-related shoulder injuries result from errors in administration of the vaccine, not the body’s reaction to the vaccine itself. Injecting the flu shot too high, too low or too deep into the shoulder – all of these are all-too-common mistakes that can lead to SIRVA.

Diagnosing a Vaccine-Related Shoulder Injury

If your child is experiencing shoulder pain after getting his or her annual flu shot, you should check for additional symptoms of a potential shoulder injury. While each of the different forms of SIRVA has its own unique symptoms and effects, some of the general signs of a vaccine-related shoulder injury include:

  • Shoulder pain that does not go away
  • Stiffness or limited range of motion in the shoulder
  • Muscle weakness in the arm or shoulder

Of course, the best way to determine whether your child has experienced a shoulder injury related to vaccine administration is to seek a diagnosis from an experienced physician. If you take your child to see the doctor you should be sure to mention your child’s recent vaccination, and help your child communicate his or her symptoms so that the doctor can provide an accurate diagnosis.

Taking Action Following SIRVA

If your child has been diagnosed with a form of SIRVA, compensation for your medical bills and your child’s pain may be available through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). The VICP is a federal government program that provides no-fault, no-cost compensation to individuals and families living with the consequences of vaccine-related injuries. Many families have secured compensation for SIRVA, and pursuing a claim can be a critical step toward recovering – both financially and emotionally – from a child’s flu shot injury.

Learn More About Recovering Compensation for SIRVA

If you would like more information about pursuing a SIRVA compensation claim under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, contact the Center for Vaccine Shoulder Pain Recovery to schedule your free initial consultation. We provide no-cost legal representation for SIRVA compensation claims nationwide, so call (844) 789-2047 or request an appointment online now.

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The Center for Vaccine Shoulder Pain Recovery


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Washington, DC 20006


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