Afraid of needles? Don’t let the phobia get you away from the vaccine. Here’s how to overcome it-

Most people are not very fond of needles and the idea of ​​an injection can be scary, but it is still a fear that can be overcome by weighing the costs and benefits. For a number of people the fear of needles goes beyond simple anxiety and leads to a far more dangerous area that can lead to refusal of medical care. Since the world’s hopes of returning to post-Covid normalcy are based on people’s willingness to be given the vaccine, it is important that healthcare professionals not only commit to convincing those who are most reluctant for ideological reasons but also those who fear needles, finding a way to get him through it.

I study

A University of Michigan study cited by the New York Times found that 16% of adults from different countries avoided annual flu shots due to fear of needles, and 20% avoided the tetanus vaccine. It has been seen that fear generally decreases with advancing age, which can be a problem since infections are very common among young people because of their greater sociality. What can be done to overcome the distress of needles?

Approaching the experience gradually

The New York Times called upon a number of experts to find ways to help those seriously terrified of needles and overcome fear. There are people who feel sick for a month before being given the idea of ​​having a flu shot. With other phobias, practitioners usually recommend that you gradually expose yourself to what causes fear – he says Dianne Chambless, a retired psychology professor at the University of Pennsylvania – such as those who fear heights may begin to spend more and more time on the balcony. But with needles it becomes more complicated because the injections or withdrawals are in any case occasional and above all easily avoidable. The psychologist suggests starting to look at the photos of needles and syringes, then of people who are getting a vaccine and finally a video showing the speed with which immunization is carried out. A therapist can be a concrete help ad hoc, but self-help books can also help.

Talk to the nurse

For some, fear can be so powerful that they risk fainting. In the case of this risk, it is possible to ask to be accompanied to the vaccination center (it must be asked why the accompaniment is foreseen only for elderly people) in order to obtain practical support. Talking about your fears with the nurse preparing to administer the vaccination can also be liberating.


The very fast injection and the thin, almost imperceptible needle. Everything ends in a few seconds. If you are concerned about pain, you can also buy mildly anesthetic creams (in hospitals they are usually used for blood sampling in young children). Fear can be overcome by finding a way to get distracted, perhaps listening to your favorite song or watching a video from your smartphone. You can also think about practicing deep breathing or meditation techniques, or look around, count the red or yellow objects in a room: in short, try to distract yourself. Furthermore, it is not at all necessary to look at the needle: you can calmly look away.

Think of the benefit

Finally, never forget the benefit of that little injection. Thanks to the vaccine, in fact, the time is approaching to return to a more normal life and with less fear of falling ill with a disease that can have a disastrous course. Costs and benefits must be placed on the scale. Taking into account the benefits can make the experience less traumatic. An encouragement can come from the many smiling people who have posted their photos on social media with the vaccination certificate in hand. Overcoming what may seem like a great fear can be really worth it.

March 18, 2021 (change March 18, 2021 | 11:29)

© Time.News


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