By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities woman says she had to have surgery after getting a flu shot.

The condition is called SIRVA, which stands for “Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration.” It can happen when a shot is injected too high or too deep into the shoulder.

Jacalyn Broze got her flu shot in 2017 like she did every other year, but this time it was different.

“I always get a flu shot,” Broze said. “Within 24 hours, I knew something wasn’t right.”

She had extreme pain in her shoulder. The grocery pharmacy where she got the shot told her it could be normal temporary soreness. But weeks later, her chiropractor noticed her right shoulder and arm were sloping. She saw several doctors before she got an answer.

“The surgeon had me do another MRI, and everything had fallen off. A complete tear of the rotator cuff,” Broze said.

She was told she had SIRVA — an injury to the muscle that occurs when a vaccine is administered improperly.

Dr. Elliot Francke has been a physician specializing in infectious diseases for 40 years.

“I have never seen it,” Francke said.

He says SIRVA is extremely rare. The MVNA reports they have given out 60,000 to 80,000 shots in a year, and have not had a case reported in 10 years.

“The last thing you want is panic when you’re in the throes of vaccine season and trying to get as many people vaccinated as possible,” said Caren Gaytko, RN, the senior director of community care at Hennepin Health in downtown Minneapolis.

Broze, who is working on gaining her arm mobility back, says she does not want to discourage people from getting their shot.

“I would not tell anyone not to get a shot, but just being careful how it’s given,” Broze said.

The Centers for Disease Control does recommend anyone over the age of six months get their flu vaccine every year. If you have questions about which vaccine is best for you, talk to your doctor or other health care professionals.

Kate Raddatz

Comments (22)
  1. Deb Reudelsterz Sargent says:

    I got a flu shot last Dec and have been living a disability hell. I ended up with Frozen Shoulder because the shot was administered incorrectly. I’ve been told its could be up to two years or more before I’m back to normal. Needless to say I will never get another flu shot again. I’ve had to pay out astronomical amounts of money for treatment. I’d rather have the flu for a couple of weeks than have to deal with this pain and suffering for years.

  2. Joseph Consolo says:

    Check for the Gillion B arrays Syndrome, after searching it think, want to shoot dice, it can leave a person useless. Search Lennard Horowitz mother died from this..

  3. Gregory Martinez says:

    Another good reason not to take the flu shot. I’m in my 60’s and never had one, and don’t plan on ever having one.

  4. Jeff Harris says:

    What I want to know, did she (Jacalyn Broze) still get the flu that year?

    The flu shot is often times ineffective, because those making the vaccine have to guess which strain is going to be dominate that season, which is why I don’t bother.

  5. Piper Rose says:

    Somebody is making big money off of this. And some politicians are getting huge payoffs,
    Remember the mobility chair scam? It’s always somethin’.

  6. cooscoos says:

    “Be careful how it’s given…” Ridiculous advice. How is the average person to know?

  7. John Butts says:

    As a physical therapist I’ve seen this before in which a nurse received a flu shot and then lost complete use of her shoulder. I can’t really believe that the RC would be completely destroyed by an injection but I suppose anything is possible. My professional feeling is that because these are extremely extremely rare it’s either the person already was suffering from a severe overuse RC tear, and/or they had a terrible reaction to the serum that fortunately was isolated only to the RC. Obviously, it would behoove the medical profession to study this further.

    1. I had the shot on 9/17/18 and have been in pain ever since. I knew right away the shot felt different from the other flu shots I’ve had for the past 10 years. I even commented to the nurse. I told her this feels very strange. She said she’s very good at knowing where to place the injection. I never had to take pain medication for the flu shot. I’m totally fine with handling a little discomfort for 2 to 3 days. But I needed to take Aleve from the second day after I received the shot up until today. I had an MRI on my shoulder that shows I have tears. I have never had any pain in either of my arms before. I just started physical therapy. A friend of mine tagged me on FB to read this article that has me concerned. Thanks for sharing your story. Good luck to you. Josephine

  8. Gary Canant says:

    The base commander ordered all of to have the FLU shot or be processed out.
    With only two years till retirement I chose the FLU shot.
    That turned out to be the wrong choice. The corpsman hit a nerve. For two months
    I was in hellish pain as muscles in my arm withered away. Today 12OCT2018,
    is 27 years later, my right arm is unable to reach above my head or behind my back,
    it is a struggle to reach my wallet in my right hip pocket. The pain wakes me up in the night.
    THE FLU SHOT IS A DECEPTION to transfer wealth to stock holders such as commanding officers
    and your local health providers.

  9. In 2001 I received the flu shot as required by work. What happened next was a complete loss of use of my arm and shoulder. My neurologist who I was sent to see told me that the long thoracic never had been damaged causing my shoulder blade to wing, I developed RSD in the entire right upper quadrant. Over the years I was able to get some use back from this shot. I dont care what anyone says… DO NOT GET THIS SHOT UNLESS YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN NOT AVOID IT!

    People like me are not new… it is happening and has been happening for years! This has destroyed my life. RSD is a HORRIBLE condition! go ahead…tell everyone how the flu shot is better… bull! I would have lived through the flu. In fact, I got the flu that year, WORSE THAN EVER! I did not have it before I got the shot, I dont care what any of these people tell you! they are flat out lying or do not know.

    Or keep getting it and learn the hard way. You will roll the dice wrong one of these times. Too deep or wrong injection? Really? Hmm… so is there special ruler people use to decide which size arm gets what shot? NOPE….just like everyone else, you are rolling the dice.

    How much have I received in compensation for this injury? Not one penny. Not one.

    1. There is compensation, but you may be too late to get anything. Google Leah Durant, attorney in D.C., who specialized in filing claims with the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. She got me a six-figure award after a rotator cuff tear and surgery following a tetanus shot.

      1. Ankaran Coffeetalk says:

        I have heard that it must be filed within 18 months after the shot — but the whole vaccine companies bear no responsibility is messed up — we need a complete overhaul of the system

        1. Lisa Marks Smith says:

          you have 3 years from the time of the vaccine to file a claim with the national vaccine compensation program. Sirva is the most compensated injury with flu shots

  10. Tom Corey says:

    For the last half dozen years or so I have gotten an annual flu shot.
    I have experienced mild soreness around the injection, which has always gone away in a day.
    Since starting to get the annual flu shot, I’ve not gotten the flu.