Roundup of SIRVA-related news, Summer 2020

Hi all. Welcome to the Summer 2020 roundup of the latest news, articles, and information about Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA). I hope everyone is making it through this trying time.

I have seen several articles recently about coronavirus and the immune system, with speculation about why women are getting hit less hard than men. They invoke something which I have seen before, which is the evidence suggesting that women’s immune systems on average mount a more vigorous defense to invaders than men’s. (This is also suggested as one of several reasons that autoimmune disease is much more common in women.) I wonder if it is also part of the effect that SIRVA happens more frequently to women than men, in addition to the smaller average shoulder, arm, and deltoid size. It’s speculation, but interesting, and I’m seeing it in the news lately with respect to covid-19.

Anyway, on to SIRVA-related news:


New SIRVA Research

This comes from a nontraditional medical journal, but I’m including it for completeness:

[pdf] Veera et al. 2020, “Use of Osteopathic Manipulation for Treatment of Chronic Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration”

This article is a data analysis of the frequency of subdeltoid bursitis following flu vaccination (one particularly common SIRVA injury). Their finding is that there are 7.78 additional cases of bursitis per 1 million persons vaccinated, although this relies on reported cases of SIRVA where some cases may still go unrecognized or incorrectly diagnosed:

Hesse et al. 2020, “Risk for Subdeltoid Bursitis After Influenza Vaccination”

And related editorial:

Fryhofer and Fryhofer 2020, “Vaccination-Induced Bursitis: Technique Matters”

Both of the preceding two articles are behind a paywall other than their summaries, but let me know if you would like a copy.


This article was (to me) a fascinating read that intersects the vaccine court, the flu vaccine, and coronavirus misinformation: “The Star of ‘Plandemic’ Spent Years Flooding the Vaccine Court System with Bad Science“.

Here’s an article (pdf) out of Victoria, Australia, that briefly mentions SIRVA. It says that because SIRVA cases were perceived to increase in 2018, their Advisory Committee on Vaccines was alerted and new resources were developed, including a “national educational initiative on correct injection technique”. Sounds like an appropriate response!

This educational research article (pdf) is not related to why SIRVA happens or how to treat it, but I enjoyed reading about training pharmacists to safely administer vaccines (and avoid SIRVA) using an “augmented reality” (Microsoft Hololens) simulation, among other techniques (like learning on a mannequin). Because the place to stop SIRVA from happening is in training the people who give vaccines, I’m always interested in what programs are doing to step up their game.

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Hi, I'm Amy, and I started this webpage when I got SIRVA to help gather together information about treating it.

6 thoughts on “Roundup of SIRVA-related news, Summer 2020”

  1. I wanted to let you know that the information that you posted helped me a lot. My doctors never really believed that my injury was due to the flu shot. It has been almost a year and I don’t quite have all of my range of motion back. PT did not help me at all. I believe that it aggravated the situation. I ended up resting it and then resorted to a steroid shot in the shoulder. That helped tremendously, along with more rest. Not that Covid restrictions are somewhat lifted I’m back to Pilates and those movements are finishing the work. Almost there!

  2. OMG! I’ve searched for someone to talk to about my SIRVA experience for almost 2 years! My injury occurred in December, 2018. I sought care almost immediately for the awful shoulder pain after receiving my flu shot. I had no improvement in my symptoms. In fact, I think I was on the decline due to limited range of motion in my shoulder. My care team consists of my primary MD, psychologist, neurologist, pain management MD and 2 orthopedic surgeons. The 2nd orthopedist ordered an MRI. I was just diagnosed with, and received my first steroid injection to treat bursitis yesterday. My MRI also showed tendonosis, arthritis of the scapula and quite a bit of fluid accumulation in the bursae. There may be a follow-up surgery. This has been a very frustrating journey. I’m glad I found you.

    1. What a journey—I am glad you have a good team. I also had (at least…) two orthopedic doctors who I was consulting with. It helps to have multiple opinions. I hope the steroid shot is helpful and that you can avoid surgery, but if not, then I hope the surgery does the trick. Best of luck.

  3. My original injection was last November. I went to the orthopedic doctor a week and a half later.. that was my first cortisone shot. He diagnosed adhesive capsulitis. The doctor had never heard of SIRVA and would not blame the injection for the injury. I did physical therapy with no relief. January 14th I went back to doctor and received 2 more cortisone shots. That relief lasted for about a month and a half. Slowly the pain returned. I couldn’t roll over without using my other hand to help the injured arm. During this time, I continued with physical therapy. Some days in tears. I saw the doctor again in May. We scheduled surgery for June 15th. I am just now reaching the end of a painful year. I am ready to be released from physical therapy. My arm is much better. Still working on strengthening but range of motion is good. After surgery, acupuncture helped tremendously. I also used dry needling, cupping, and massage therapy to relieve the stiffness in my shoulder.

    1. Hi Ashley, thanks for sharing your story. I’m so sorry about the ignorant doctor…very common with SIRVA. I am glad you are on the mend after surgery and that your arm is much better. Interesting about the acupuncture really helping!! I would say that SIRVA made me extra scared of all needles in general, so I have not really tried acupuncture and when I had dry needling done, I tensed up so much it was counterproductive. Super glad it has helped you!!!!

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