As detailed in prior entries, shoulder injuries can occur after the administration of a flu shot or other vaccination. Typically, these injuries are caused from poor needle placement by the person administering the vaccine, use of an improper gauge or size needle, or a localized reaction to the vaccine serum itself.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) General Recommendations Work Group (GRWG) reviews the evidence for best practices regarding immunization and releases updated guidance every 3 to 5 years. The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) provides information on vaccine administration based on the ACIP’s guidance.
In order to protect yourself and be an informed participant when getting a flu shot or other vaccination in your arm, we have listed below some detailed guidance on the subject:
- The ideal placement for a flu shot or vaccine in the upper arm is in the central and thickest part of the upper arm’s deltoid muscle. This location should be above the level of your armpit when your arm is held straight by your side.
- It should be 2 to 3 fingerbreadths (the width of your fingers when held together) down from your acromion process — the bony part of your shoulder above your deltoid muscle.
- The flu shot or other vaccine should be injected just into the surface of the muscle, not injected too deep.
- To avoid injury, it’s important not to inject the influenza vaccine or other vaccination too high or too low on the upper arm. Medical professionals can avoid causing their patients unnecessary and avoidable harm by staying up to date on their vaccination knowledge and by practicing proper vaccination techniques, including correct placement.
- It’s also important for medical professionals to be aware of SIRVA so that patients may be treated in a timely, effective manner.
If you have shoulder pain or any of the above symptoms after receiving a flu shot or other vaccination, you should contact a physician as soon as possible and inform them of your symptoms and advise them that they started after receiving the subject vaccination. After that, please contact our firm as soon as possible. Our firm is experienced in litigating vaccine injury claims on behalf of those suffering shoulder injuries and we would be happy to answer any questions that you may have as well as to discuss a potential claim for compensation. There is no charge for such a consultation.