Mayo Clinic Health System offers tips on coping with fear of needles amid COVID-19 vaccines

Updated: Mar. 1, 2021 at 7:16 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - With COVID-19 vaccinations becoming more widely available, the Mayo Clinic Health System is offering advice to those who might be afraid of needles.

Mayo says that although immunizations using a needle have been around for centuries, many people are still scared of them. A phobia of needles, called trypanophobia, can cause sweating, nausea, fainting, dizziness and even heart palpitations just at the sight of a syringe.

Luckily, there are ways to make getting injected more comfortable.

“The most important strategy will actually depend on the individual person, but a common strategy that works for a lot of people is deep breathing,” said Jessica Wadium, a certified child life specialist at the Mayo Clinic Health System.

Mayo says deep breathing, distraction and preparation can be helpful and relaxing while getting vaccinated. They also recommend voicing your concern to your nurse, as they may be able to use positioning and pain management techniques to make it more comfortable.

“Let the nurse, or the person doing that injection, know what do you prefer, and that is again, it can be right arm left arm, or it can be, you know, I want you to count down. It can be I would really like to watch because some people like to have that control, and they want to know what you’re doing,” Wadium added.

Overall, Mayo emphasizes the importance of getting your COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it’s available to you.

Although it’s a fearful experience for some, it is important to recognize that there are many ways to help counter the anxiety that can stop people from getting a vaccination.

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