How to Overcome Needle Phobia for COVID-19 Vaccine

Fear of needles during an immunization or blood draw is not unique to children. Many adults experience a needle phobia as well. For some, the fear can be greater than mild anxiety. But don’t let a fear of needles keep you from scheduling a COVID-19 vaccination, which is a vital weapon in the effort to end this pandemic.

“I have a phobia of needles myself,” Jonathan Ponser with Memorial Behavioral Health says.  “However, through the use of relaxation techniques and positive self-talk such as, ‘I have done this before and I was fine, I am ok now,’ I was able to make it through. I am very happy I chose to get the vaccine and do my part to protect those that are close to me and the community at large.”

Ponser offers these tips to help:

  1. Let your nurse or technician know. If you let your care provider know of your fear before the injection, they can help alleviate your fears with techniques that reduce pain and help distract you.
  2. Create a distraction. Avoid watching the injection and distract yourself with a game or video on your phone, music or breathing techniques.
  3. Remember your why. Why are you getting the vaccine? It could be for your parents or grandparents, for your own health or even to feel more comfortable going on vacation this summer. Focus on your motivation to get vaccinated.
  4. Seek help from a professional. If you have developed a severe needle phobia, you may need to seek the help of a behavioral health professional to help you overcome your fear. A therapist can help you to take steps to increase your comfort level and learn coping mechanisms to manage anxiety. Contact Memorial Behavioral Health to schedule an appointment with a counselor.

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