Flu-shot pain or injury can be compensated through federal program

Jan 18th, 2017 | By | Category: Health & Fitness

It’s flu season, and that means millions of Americans, especially seniors, are heading to doctors and pharmacists to obtain their annual flu shots.  Although proven effective in combatting influenza, because shots administered improperly can over penetrate, resulting in damage to shoulder muscles and tendons, being vaccinated with the annual flu vaccine can lead to serious complications. Seniors with reduced body mass are particularly vulnerable.

Shoulder injury that results from the faulty administration of vaccines is known as Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration, (or “SIRVA”).  SIRVA injuries can occur when vaccines are injected too deeply or are given at the wrong angle or too high up on the shoulder.  Underweight patients such as seniors with low body mass may be at an increased risk.

Frequent symptoms of SIRVA include pain at the injection site, stiffness, weakness, tingling, and loss of the shoulder’s range of motion.  Such injuries are often diagnosed as rotator cuff tears, bursitis, tendonitis, or adhesive capsulitis.  In rare cases, surgery is required to correct the damage.

Fortunately, for those individuals who experience shoulder pain related to vaccine administration and who seek treatment from a doctor, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program is available to provide compensation, including an award for pain and suffering, out of pocket expenses and lost more.  In addition to the flu vaccine, compensation is available for shoulder injuries caused by most other vaccines, including tetanus, Hepatitis A and B, and the HPV vaccine.

Enacted by Congress in 1986, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (also known as the vaccine court), is a federally funded, no fault compensation program, designed to provide monetary damages to people who have suffered a vaccine injury.  Under the Vaccine Program, individuals can file a legal claim with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.  Special Masters from the court decide if the claim is eligible to receive compensation.  Because attorney’s fees and costs are paid for by the Court, filing a claim for compensation should come at little to no financial cost to the injured party.

According to Vaccine Attorney Leah Durant, many well-meaning healthcare providers are unaware of the damage that can result from the faulty administration of a vaccine. When deciding whether to pursue a claim for compensation for a vaccine-related shoulder injury, obtaining prompt and proper treatment is critical. For some, steroids and physical therapy may help promote recovery. Other more serious injuries may require costly surgical procedures or rehabilitation. Anyone who experiences shoulder pain shortly after a vaccination should seek immediate medical attention. According to Durant, this is not only important to allow for proper diagnosis and treatment, but may also help support any future legal claim for compensation.

Since suffering her own shoulder injury related to vaccine administration, Durant has worked to advocate for individuals diagnosed with SIRVA or other vaccine-related injuries.  According to Durant, her personal experience with this type of injury helps her to relate to clients who experience the high level of pain and suffering associated with adverse vaccine reactions.

Because filing a claim for vaccine compensation involves complex legal and medical principles not found in traditional tort litigation, finding a vaccine attorney that focuses exclusively on vaccine litigation claims is key.   Vaccine attorneys like Durant and others are capable of representing clients in all 50 states.  Because of provisions established by the law, petitioners in vaccine claims are never required to travel to the Court in Washington, DC in order to pursue their claims.

“This is really about awareness for individuals who experience illness or injury following a flu shot or other vaccine,” says Durant.  “The vaccine court provides a means of help for injured parties, but it is critical that people understand what symptoms to look for, and where to go to seek prompt medical treatment.  At this point, most people are unaware of their rights or that compensation may be available.  Our biggest challenge is making people aware of the program and helping them obtain the resources they need.”

Additional information is available from the Health Resources and Services Administration at 844-789-2047, info@vaccinelaw.com and www.vaccineshoulderinjury.com.