SIRVAs are a rare but serious complication following suspected inadvertent administration of a vaccine too high in the deltoid or into the shoulder joint. This can lead to a local inflammatory response and potential trauma to local structures within the shoulder. Implications of SIRVA can include long-term pain and restricted movement, difficulty with completing activities of daily living/caring for others, time off work, loss of income, inability to participate in sports/hobbies and impacts on the social and emotional wellbeing of the affected person. 

Ensuring a correct injection technique can prevent SIRVA from occurring in the first place. We encourage vaccine providers to familiarise themselves with MVEC’s Administration of injected vaccines – correct technique reference page for guidance on identifying the correct injection site.  

Further information on SIRVA, including diagnosis and treatment, can be found on our SIRVA immunisation reference page. We also encourage providers to complete our free Education Portal eLearning package on SIRVA.