Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department announcement.
Are you Trypanophobic? You may be and not know it. Fear of needles is normal. Yet it’s keeping people from getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Trypanophobia is the scientific term for fear of needles. It affects more people than you might think. About one quarter of adults fear needles. Nearly two-thirds of children do, too. According to CDC, 7% of U.S. adults fear needles so badly, they avoid getting vaccines.
The biggest concern we hear every day at Health Department vaccine clinics is: “I’m worried I’ll faint. I’m afraid of needles.”
We have tips for providers, parents and patients to help you work through Trypanophobia.
Tips for patients with a fear of needles
Getting a vaccine might not be easy for people who fear needles. Try these tips to help get you through it:
- Bring a friend. Let them hold your hand.
- Wear headphones with soothing music or listen to a funny podcast.
- Make the appointment for vaccination the same day and fill out the paperwork out in advance, when available.
- Tell the team giving you the injection you have this fear. They may be pretty good at helping to comfort or distract you!
Are you a parent with a child who hates needles? These things can help:
- Tell the provider your child may be scared.
- Be honest. Tell children in advance they’ll be getting an injection.
- Talk to them throughout the process.
- Have a reward ready! It never hurts to celebrate overcoming a tough moment.
- Stick to the schedule. Despite fear, sticking to your child’s vaccine schedule is a must.
We also have a few tips for providers to help with needle-phobic patients.
- Draw up the medicine and fiddle with the needle somewhere your patient can’t see.
- Fainting can happen. Be ready for it.
- Tell your patient to look away.
- Tell a story to comfort or distract them.
You can overcome your fears.
Now you have some tips to beat your fear, you can get the COVID-19 vaccine to help keep you and others around you safe.
Find your dose today at tpchd.org/vaxtothefuture. If you need a ride to an appointment or can’t easily leave home, we can help with that, too. Call us at (253) 649-1412, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday. We’ll return messages left over the weekend on the next business day.
And you can do even more to help stop the spread: