covid-19 vaccine

Fear of Needles May Be Stopping Some People From Getting Vaccinated

Researchers from the University of Michigan say that 20-30% of adults studied had concerns about needles, ranging from mild anxiety to crippling phobia.

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With the vaccine rollout, there's been footage of the gentle jab on TV, but just the sight of a needle can make some people queasy or squeamish. 

“I have a flipping fear of needles. I can’t with it," said Jhon Pulido, who has a fear of needles. 

The 26-year-old says he just can't deal when it comes to getting any type of injection.

“For me, it’s really difficult to go to the doctor," Pulido said. "It’s really difficult. I always have the fear that he’s gonna need to do an injection right now. It’s irrational because it’s an irrational complete fear, but it’s there."

Pulido says his fear of needles started at a young age. He even withstood the pain of two root canals without anesthesia because he was terrified of getting a shot. 

The fear of needles affects more people than you might think. According to an analysis by researchers at the University of Michigan, 20-30% of adults studied reported having a fear of needles. 

"Twenty-five percent of people are afraid of needles. And nobody talked about it before this," said Dr. Arthur Bregman, a psychiatrist in Miami. 

Dr. Bregman says the phobia can be moderate to severe. 

"Seven percent of people have this illness called trypanophobia, and this thing is extreme fear of needles," Dr. Bregman said.

The psychiatrist worries that some people who fall into this category may be hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine. He stressed the importance of still trying to get that shot and having the tools to ease any anxiety. 

"We really need people vaccinated because that's the way we'll decrease viral load on people vaccinated and then people won't spread it or get sick," Dr. Bregman said.

Pulido says he plans to overcome his fear of needles for the vaccine. Once he is eligible for an appointment, he's going to bring his fiance to get him in the right mindset to keep him calm. 

“I’m going to go to the car, I’m going to cover my eyes and cover my ears and we’re going to go to the place," he said. "You’re going to touch me or whatever when I need to put out my arm and they’ll do it. I cannot see it. If I see it, we failed."

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