Tag: SIRVA

How Long Do Side Effects of Immunizations Last?

Immunizations are safe, but they can have some risks and side effects.

Vaccine side effects can be reported to VAERS online or using a downloadable form.
Vaccine adverse events can be reported to VAERS online or using a downloadable form.

Fortunately, most are fairly mild, like pain and fever.

How Long Do Side Effects of Immunizations Last?

And most vaccine side effects go away quickly.

For example, fever and fussiness, two of the most common vaccine reactions, typically only lasts a day or two.

Others can last a little longer, but still usually go away on their own:

  • when kids get a rash after their MMR vaccine, it might last three or four days
  • even when kids get swelling of an entire arm or leg after the DTaP shot is given, it might last for 1–7 days
  • pain at the injection site typically only lasts a few days
  • shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA) can last months and sometimes doesn’t go away
  • arthritis after a rubella containing vaccine, which mostly occurs in adults, typically only lasts a few days
  • febrile seizures are usually brief and rarely lead to non-febrile seizures
  • immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) after a measles containing vaccine resolves in two weeks to six months, typically without any treatment
  • intussusception after a rotavirus vaccine resolves with treatment, either an air contrast enema or surgery
  • Guillain-Barré Syndrome after a seasonal flu vaccine, which is very rare, resolves in the majority of people over a period of years

Do any have more long lasting effects?

VAPP or vaccine-associated paralytic polio after the oral polio vaccine might not resolve. Fortunately, it only occurs in about 1 in every 1.27 million children receiving their first dose of OPV. It is even less common after bOPV, which is oral polio vaccine that is now being used. And won’t happen at all once we stop using oral polio vaccines.

Encephalitis or encephalopathy after a pertussis or a measles, mumps, and rubella virus containing vaccine might also lead to long lasting effects.

And some, like anaphylaxis, are life-threatening.

Fortunately, most long-term vaccine studies have shown that immunizations are safe, rarely causing severe reactions, and don’t have many long term side effects.

What to Know About How Long Immunization Side Effects Last

Most vaccine side effects are mild and only last a few days.

More on Immunization Side Effects

What is SIRVA?

Vaccines are safe.

Of course, they aren’t 100% safe.

One possible problem though, SIRVA, isn’t necessarily caused by the vaccine itself, but how it is given.

Or more precisely, where it is given.

What is SIRVA?

SIRVA is an acronym for shoulder injury related to vaccine administration.

It can occur when a vaccine is injected into the underlying bursa of the shoulder joint, instead of the deltoid muscle, causing shoulder pain and limited range of motion.

“These symptoms are thought to occur as a result of unintended injection of vaccine antigen or trauma from the needle into and around the underlying bursa of the shoulder resulting in an inflammatory reaction. SIRVA is caused by an injury to the musculoskeletal structures of the shoulder (e.g. tendons, ligaments, bursae, etc.). SIRVA is not a neurological injury and abnormalities on neurological examination or nerve conduction studies (NCS) and/or electromyographic (EMG) studies would not support SIRVA as a diagnosis (even if the condition causing the neurological abnormality is not known).”

Vaccine Injury Table

Why would someone want to give you a vaccine in the shoulder joint?

They shouldn’t!

In addition to giving shots in the correct location, to prevent SIRVA, it is also important to use the proper needle length.
In addition to giving shots in the correct location, to prevent SIRVA, it is also important to use the proper needle length.

In older kids and adults, intramuscular injections are typically given “in the central and thickest portion of the deltoid muscle – above the level of the armpit and approximately 2–3 fingerbreadths (~2″) below the acromion process.”

Giving the shot properly can prevent SIRVA.
Giving the shot properly can prevent SIRVA, keeping in mind that you might use a 5/8 inch needle in younger children.

If the shot is given in the shoulder joint, then it was given too high, typically in the upper 1/3 of the deltoid muscle.

Improved education will hopefully decrease SIRVA cases, but tell your doctor and report your case to VAERS if you think you developed SIRVA within 48 hours of getting a vaccine in your upper arm.

As a table injury, folks with SIRVA can also get compensated under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986.

More on SIRVA