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Overcoming fear of needles ahead of COVID-19 shot

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MADISON (WKOW) -- One unavoidable part of getting the coronavirus vaccine is the needle needed to give the shot, something many people are afraid of.

A study done by the Journal of Advanced Nursing found that about 20 to 30% of the U.S. population ages 20 to 40-years-old have a fear of needles in medical procedures.

 “This is a fight or flight response; it’s normal,” said Victoria Egizio, a clinical health psychologist and behavioral health manager at UW Health. “We want to try to tackle those thoughts, calm the brain and body down and help people focus on their motivation to get the vaccine.”

UW Health is offering some recommendations on how to overcome a fear of needles:

  • Before, during and after vaccination utilize belly breathing to calm the body
  • During the vaccination, positive distraction can be useful like essential oils that trigger positive memories or talking with the person giving the vaccine
  • Prior to vaccination focus on positive, hopeful things, for example, getting a vaccination will help family and friends stay safe

Starting Monday, all Wisconsin residents 16-years-old and older will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.

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