COVID Vaccine Injuries Do Happen, But Experts Say Recipients Have No Legal Recourse

CBS2's Maurice Dubois has more on a specific kind of injury that can be very painful.

Video Transcript

- On that note, almost 3 and 1/2 million people in New York and New Jersey alone have now received their first dose.

- But not everyone has the same experience. If the vaccine is not administered the right way, it can lead to painful injuries.

- I couldn't move my arm. I could only move at about 10 degrees before lifting my arm before it was just excruciating pain, like a knife going through my shoulder.

- [? Sung ?] [? Cho ?] is a health-care worker who got his first COVID vaccine.

- This motion going back like this just hurts.

- Psychologist Gailen Garcia also got the shot. Now both are claiming they have a rare condition that occurs when a vaccine is given improperly. It's called SIRVA, Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration.

- I can't lift my kids up anymore. I can't play basketball. I can't play with them anymore. I thought my life was over.

- It's when the vaccine is mistakenly injected into the bursa space below the deltoid muscle in your arm instead of the muscle itself. Doctors say the pain can last anywhere from days, to weeks, to months.

- My arm goes numb. I wake up with tingling hands.

- I can't go higher than that right there.

- In Cho's case, he says the COVID vaccine was given by a pharmacy student who he claims made a mistake.

- I don't think she [INAUDIBLE] to it. I just think that she did not get the proper training. I find that very infuriating.

- Governor Cuomo's office put out the call for all medical professionals to get trained to vaccinate, including pharmacists and midwives who are not certified to administer immunizations.

ANTHONY MACRI: You have people who, you know, by virtue of many reasons, are not really, you know, at the top of their game or not really experienced enough. That certainly creates the potential for danger.

- Anthony Macri is a medical-malpractice attorney who adds that if something were to go wrong a patient doesn't even have any legal recourse. But emergency room physician Dr. Adam Berman says training to administer vaccines is basic and straightforward and even offers this demo for us.

ADAM BERMAN: Whoever's giving the vaccine is going to want to squeeze the arm to make sure that you're getting the vaccine into the actual deltoid muscle. And then, once the syringe with the medication is in it, it should be given perpendicularly to the skin and then injected slowly. And then you're done.

- Most important, he adds this.

ADAM BERMAN: There are going to be inherent risks with getting the vaccine, just local effects. But I still think that overall the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh any possible issues that people might have related to getting the vaccine.

- A federal mandate was passed last spring that protects vaccine providers from lawsuits and liability. But doctors stress that injuries are very rare. And they strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated.