Shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA)


Given the large scale Covid vaccine delivery programme, I have now had two patients who sought help with shoulder pain as a direct result of their vaccine injection, where the pain presents within two hours after administration.


It was evident that these patients were collectively displaying signs of rotator cuff tendinitis, tears, or subacromial bursitis, in the absence of trauma or overuse. There is now mounting evidence that a vaccination which is delivered too high into the shoulder can lead to persistent shoulder pain which may need intervention in the form of physical therapy, injections therapy or surgery. There is no evidence suggesting the vaccine itself leads to shoulder pain, but with the delivery of the injection potentially impacting soft tissue structures.


These injuries are not common, but having the knowledge that this can happen is important should shoulder pain ensure after vaccination.