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Trypanophobic? Learn how to get past the fear of needles to get vaccinated.

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: