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SIRVA (Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration) Might Be Added to Vaccine Injury Table

September 16, 2015

SIRVA is an acronym for Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration. SIRVA occurs when the vaccine is injected too high on the arm, which can cause the contents of the shot to enter the bursa (a fluid-filled sac that protects the tendons of the shoulder). When this happens, the arm can become very painful and even immobilized-temporarily or permanently.

As a result of the higher prevalence of SIRVA injuries, the Government is considering adding this injury to the Vaccine Injury Table. The vaccine court has been compensating SIRVA injuries for the past few years. There is now a proposed rule to add SIRVA to almost every vaccine on the vaccine injury table as a possible adverse event.

The affect this would have is both positive and negative. The positive is that the injury is recognized as valid and compensable, which means an injured person can file a petition in vaccine court and potentially receive compensation more expeditiously than if a claim is filed in civil court.

The negative is that since the injury would be one of those listed on the Table, an injured person MUST file in vaccine court, instead of civil court. There is no jury in vaccine court and practically no rules on discovery. Simply, the litigation process is different than traditional court, which can make some cases more difficult to win or settle. Every case is different and must be evaluated individually.

However, from a justification standpoint, acknowledging SIRVA as yet another vaccine injury should make some pro-vaccine choice(ers) feel heard. Vaccine injuries are real and are recognized by the government and the court.

The below link is the proposed rule change:
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/07/29/2015-17503/national-vaccine-injury-compensation-program-revisions-to-the-vaccine-injury-table

By: Phyllis Widman, for the Firm

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