Data on needle fear has been available for some time and experts like Dr. Baxter have been speaking about it but there’s been no response from policymakers. Dr. Baxter makes the case for why needle fear needs to be taken more seriously.
Vaccines for kids 12+ are starting soon, and mandates are coming down, but needle pain is absent in the approaches.
We went to a pharmacy to support vaccinations by addressing needle fear. We talked about FDA approval, differences in mRNA vaccines, and the science behind vaccinations. But we also brought chairs and tools like Buzzy to help make the process easier.
There were 10 people that came because they wanted a handling of needle fear and pain. Only one person came asking about the science. The 10 who had their fears addressed got vaccinated, and the one had the science explained was not.
Elsewhere in the world, addressing needle fear is a regular part of healthcare. Here in the US it is stigmatized with shame. We know that addressing needle fear works and that addressing vaccine skepticism is far less effective. It is more efficient to decrease some fear, or minimize some of the people who don’t come back for a second shot.