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What Is SIRVA and Can I Receive Workers Compensation for It?

If your employer requires you to take certain vaccines for work and you develop SIRVA, then you may have grounds to file a claim.

You may visit your doctor annually to get your flu shot. If so, then you understand how painful the injection site can be on your arm. It’s normal to experience some soreness and discomfort for a few days but if the pain lasts for many days and doesn’t go away, it could be a sign of something more serious.

SIRVA, Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration, is a condition that occurs when the nurse or doctor injects the needle too high up in your arm or too deep into the tissue. Who is liable for compensation when that happens?

How to Recognize the Signs of SIRVA

It’s important to note that SIRVA is a rare condition and the benefits of getting the flu vaccine far outweigh the risks. But, if you notice pain and loss of function in the shoulder within 48 hours after the vaccine was administered, then you need to contact your doctor. It may mean that either the nurse administered the vaccine improperly or that your immune system is reacting negatively to the components of the vaccine.

In addition to pain and loss of motion in the shoulder, you may also experience:

  • Shoulder bursitis
  • Shoulder tendonitis
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Shoulder dysfunction

In most cases, you can treat the symptoms of SIRVA with pain medicine and physical therapy. There are rare instances, however, when the damage is so extensive that the patient may require surgery.

Who is Liable?

In most cases, the US government manages citizens vaccination, so injuries that arise from improper use or administration are covered by it. That’s why the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was put in place back in 1988. Although it was initially designed as a “no-fault” system to compensate those injured by childhood vaccines, there are no more age restrictions for those who file a claim.

Is SIRVA Eligible Under Workers Compensation?

Workers’ compensation covers you when you get injured or become sick as a result of your work activity. So, if you develop SIRVA after taking your annual flu vaccine, then you cannot apply for workers’ compensation.

However, if your employer requires you to take certain vaccines, for example if you have to travel for work to a different country, and you develop SIRVA, then you may have the grounds to file a claim. If this is your situation, it would be a good idea to contact a St. Louis workers compensation attorney and ask for legal help.

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Updated: March 30, 2020