How do vaccines cause shoulder injuries?

Shoulder injuries related to vaccine administration are the most common injury reported at the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). These injuries occur as a result of a combination of physical damage from the needle and inflammation response triggered by the vaccine itself.

Bad form

These shoulder injuries can occur if the person administering the shot ends up pushing the needle through the deltoid muscle and into the shoulder joint itself. This can happen for various reasons; for example, when a medical professional:

  • Uses a needle that is too long
  • Injects too high on the shoulder
  • Injects from above instead of at a 90-degree angle

When a medical professional gives a vaccine incorrectly, poking into the shoulder joint, the resulting inflammation can damage the structures around the joint, including tendons, ligaments and bursas that normally cushion the joints. Damage to the shoulder can cause pain that can last for weeks, months or even years. Tetanus and flu vaccines are two common culprits that can trigger this reaction when a medical provider administers a shot incorrectly.

A common injury

Shoulder injuries have become so common in vaccine court that people who petition the court as the result of such an injury no longer have to provide medical documentation. They merely have to show that they received a vaccine, and 48 hours later developed severe pain and reduced mobility after previously having no such issues.

If you started experiencing shoulder pain after receiving a vaccine, you are not alone. You can learn your rights and make smart decisions about how to move forward after consulting with an experienced vaccine attorney who knows the landscape of these types of injuries.

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