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Mistakes made during vaccinations lead to painful injuries nationwide

A nationwide News4 Investigation uncovered thousands of complaints from people who say they were injured while getting a vaccine.
Published: Feb. 14, 2022 at 2:38 PM MST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV/Gray News) – Hundreds of people across the United States have said they were injured during the administration of the COVID-19 vaccinations.

In Bowling Green, Kentucky, Jessi Clark described the pain as a fire.

“Kind of a burning, radiating pain,” Clark said, adding that it was not the vaccine that caused the pain but the administration of it.

Those injured said the vaccines were given too high in the shoulder joint instead of the deltoid muscle. Clark said she immediately knew something was wrong when it happened to her. As a nurse, Clark said she knew how it should have been given.

“Just felt a crunch and a pop,” Clark said. “[I] Looked at another nurse beside me and said, ‘pretty sure I just got my injection way too high.’”

Vaccine injury experts told WSMV the inflammation and lingering painful shoulder pain often referred to as Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA), can only be repaired through surgery.

According to the federal office of the Health Resources & Services Administration, thousands of people have been complaining for years about SIRVA due to mistakes made during vaccinations of all kinds.

In Wake Forest, North Carolina, Angela Houston said she was injured during the process of getting the shingles vaccine.

“If I moved it, I had excruciating pain that has dropped me to my knees,” Houston said.

Vivien Cord, who administers a SIRVA Facebook page for injured people, said that it is difficult to diagnose because doctors are so often unfamiliar with the injuries.

“Everyone has the same issue. They are not believed. They are not understood,” Cord said.

Dr. Marko Bodor, an interventional spine and sports medicine specialist, has become one of the nation’s top researchers on SIRVA.

“Does the medical community embrace this as a real problem, a real danger?” WSMV asked.

“More and more so, yes, people are aware of it,” Bordo said. “Vaccines are very safe by in large. There are rare complications.”

According to data from the federal office of Health Resources & Services Administration, more than $4 billion have been paid out since 1989 from injuries to vaccines through the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. But not every vaccine is included in the compensation program, including the COVID-19 vaccine.

Daniel Alhom, a vaccine injury attorney in Nashville, said the COVID-19 vaccines are considered by the federal government as a countermeasure to treat a declared pandemic. Therefore, Alhom said not the same as vaccines that have been available for years.

It means anyone injured during the administration of a COVID-19 vaccine is not eligible for the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

There is a Countermeasures Injury Compensation Program, but they have not compensated any COVID-19 claim.

According to the CICP website, three COVID-19 countermeasure claims were denied because “the standard of proof for causation were not met and/or a covered injury was not sustained.”

The CICP website states that one COVID-19 countermeasure claim for a person who had an anaphylactic reaction was deemed eligible for compensation. However, it is still pending a review of eligible expenses.

According to the CICP data, 227 people have filed COVID-19 countermeasure claims because of SIRVA.

“Given that we’re giving out a record number of vaccines, there’s got to be more cases,” Alholm said.

Alholm said he is gathering the names of who suffer from SIRVA injuries during COVID-19 vaccinations. He and other lawyers across the country lobby the government to make those cases eligible for compensation.

Vaccine injury experts said the best way to protect yourself is always pull up your shirt, never pull it down, so you expose as much of the deltoid muscle as possible and not the shoulder.

You’re also advised to put your hand on your shoulder and cover up your shoulder when you get a vaccine.

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