How to overcome fear of getting vaccine or blood test

Between COVID-19 and flu vaccinations, most of us are facing more jabs than usual this year. Here’s what to do if the thought of a needle fills you with dread.

While most people don’t enjoy getting jabbed, an estimated 10 per cent of people have needle phobia – some so fearful that they avoid any medical treatment that might involve an injection.

University of Western Australia psychological science professor Andrew Page says there are several key reasons people may be scared of needles.

“They worry that the needle might hurt, or they worry whether a vaccine is safe or if they will have an adverse reaction,” he says.

People with trypanophobia, a phobia of needles, may experience shortness of breath, dizziness, sweaty palms, shakiness and rapid heartbeat when faced with the prospect of an injection.

Some people faint as their blood pressure rises with the fear and suddenly drops.

With the COVID-19 vaccine rollout under way and flu season approaching, we may require more needles than usual this year. So how can you manage your fear of needles?

Exposure-based therapy

A GP or psychologist may suggest exposure-based therapy for overcoming anxiety around…

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