The Different Types Of Vaccine Injuries

Vaccines are beneficial as they help eradicate dangerous diseases such as smallpox, pertussis, polio, diphtheria, and measles. However, despite their benefits, they also have a few drawbacks, including vaccine injuries. Though rare, vaccine injuries exist and can lead to severe health conditions. 

Fortunately, vaccine injury victims are entitled to compensation through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. However, vaccine injury cases are time sensitive, making it essential to file your case immediately after the injury occurs. 

If you’re wondering about the type of injuries caused by vaccines, this post is for you. Below are the most common vaccine injuries.

Shoulder Injuries Resulting From Vaccine Administration (SIRVA)

After vaccine administration in the arm, it’s normal to experience some soreness and stiffness. However, if you experience chronic and persistent shoulder along with limited shoulder function, you may have SIRVA and need to see a doctor.

An error during vaccination causes SIRVA. In other words, it occurs when a vaccine is administered wrongly in the deltoid bursa. Unlike other vaccine injury types, SIRVA can result from various vaccines. SIRVA symptoms include severe pain, reduced strength, a limited range of motion, muscle weakness, inflammation, and nerve-related symptoms such as numbness or tingling.

SIRVA treatment involves conservative measures such as pain medication, rest, and physical therapy. In severe cases, invasive measures, such as corticosteroid injections or surgery, may be needed.

There are different subtypes of SIRVA, which include;

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  • Rotator Cuff Injuries

This occurs due to a vaccine causing rotator cuff tear. In other words, the vaccine caused damage to tendons in the cuff muscles. Cuff muscles surround the shoulder and help stabilize and move it. This injury type can interfere with daily activities involving shoulder movements, such as lifting or throwing.

  • Shoulder Bursitis

This subtype of SIRVA entails the inflammation of the bursa, located between the rotator cuff tendons and the acromion. The bursa helps reduce friction between tendons and bones during shoulder movement. When there’s an error during vaccination, it can damage the bursa and the surrounding tendons, causing shoulder bursitis.

  • Tendonitis

Tendonitis is an injury characterized by inflammation and damage to tendons and other shoulder structures. This injury occurs when a vaccine is administered too high or deeply into the shoulder. It can also be caused by an immune response to the vaccine, causing inflammation of the tendons.

Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS)

GBS is an autoimmune disorder that can be dangerous and even life-threatening. It causes your body’s immune system to attack your nerve cells mistakenly. It causes numbness and muscle weakness, and in severe cases, it can lead to paralysis. Guillain-Barré syndrome cases are associated with the flu shot, influenza vaccine, Hepatitis B vaccine, and the Covid-19 vaccine.

Its symptoms include tingling and weakness, which can spread throughout the body. Additional symptoms are difficulty speaking, rapid heartbeat, unsteady gait, severe aches, and difficulty breathing. Like SIRVA, Guillain-Barre syndrome has some variants. They include:

  • Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP)

CIDP is a disorder affecting the peripheral nervous system, particularly the nerves outside the brain and spinal cord. The condition is chronic, meaning it persists for a long time. CIDP causes inflammation and damage to myelin, a layer protecting the nerves. It disrupts normal nerve function, leading to fatigue, loss of reflexes, pain, and loss of coordination. CIDP treatment entails using immunosuppressive medications like corticosteroids and plasma exchange. These medications help reduce your immune system’s attack on the nerve cells.

  • Acute Motor Axonal Neuropathy (AMAN)

AMAN is a Guillain-Barré syndrome subtype that occurs when a vaccine causes inflammation and damage to the motor axons, which are nerve fibers that transmit signals from the spinal cord and brain to the muscles. This condition leads to muscle weakness and other motor effects throughout the body.

  • Miller-Fisher Syndrome (MFS)

MFS affects the peripheral nervous system, specifically the nerves that control eye muscles and balance. Its symptoms include paralysis of eye muscles, lack of coordination, and loss of reflexes. Treatment for MFS includes supportive care and immunomodulatory therapies such as plasma exchange.

Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (ITP)

ITP is a disorder where the blood doesn’t clot properly. This condition is linked to the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. The disease causes the bone marrow to produce fewer platelets, leading to a slow blood clot. Moreover, the condition can mistakenly cause your body’s immune system to attack and destroy its platelets. For this reason, internal bleeding or excessive bleeding can occur.  

Symptoms of ITP include bruises, bleeding gums, heavy menstruation, frequent nosebleeds, blood in urine or stool, excessive bleeding during surgery, and severe lacerations. Blood clotting conditions are dangerous and life-threatening. Therefore, if you suspect you have symptoms of ITP, seek medical attention immediately.

ITP treatment may entail using intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) to increase platelets in the blood and suppress the immune response. In severe cases, spleen removal may occur to treat the condition. Finally, individuals with ITP must take extra safety precautions to prevent bleeding.


Though rare, injury vaccines do occur and can be disastrous and fatal. Therefore, if you suspect you’re experiencing any injury vaccine, see a doctor immediately. If you’re diagnosed with a vaccine injury, contact an injury lawyer as soon as possible, as injury vaccine claims are time-sensitive.