This is just an appreciation post to the people who get the vaccination even though they have serious fear/anxiety/phobias related to this. It's not easy for everyone to push themselves through this for the sake of their own health, the health of their communities, and for NZ as a whole.

I personally know several people who have serious phobias or anxiety triggered by getting the vaccination (for very different reasons in each case), but they're pushing through to do it anyway and I think it's really important to appreciate those people and what they're going through to keep others safe.

There are a lot of people out there who have a serious phobia of needles. There are people who are literally getting the first vaccination they have ever had as children of anti-vax parents who put their own fears on their children years ago. Some people have extreme phobias related to the side effects, or even of dying. Some people have medical issues that make the vaccination process be percieved as riskier (even though it's still extremely safe) and that can seriously spike anxiety as well. And that's just the tip of the iceberg- this issue has become so fearful for so many people especially with misinformation being spread online.

I think it's really important to be compassionate towards those people and to commend them for doing this important act for the community even though it's a lot harder for them than it is for most people.

For those who have fear and anxiety around vaccinations, I have some tips:

  1. Book in for your shot instead of going to a walk in. Waiting around will give you time to overthink and it adds a layer of uncertainty- there are so many places offering vaccinations now that you should easily be able to find somewhere with bookings open (or you can get a friend/family member to try and find a place for you where you can book).
  2. Plan something relaxing and enjoyable for after your vaccination to reward yourself for facing such a huge fear in order to help others and to help yourself. Maybe you want to order UberEats for dinner, have a sleep in, or you could bake some cupcakes the day before so you have cupcakes for after you're done!
  3. Remind yourself of why you are doing this and why it's important to YOU that you get vaccinated. I think everyone has different reasons for getting the shot and figuring out what yours are and how they fit into your personal values can help a lot. Even just facing a fear is a hugely powerful reason.
  4. Let your vaccinator know that you are nervous, anxious, have a severe fear/phobia or any other reasons why this is a hard situation for you. Personally, my vaccinators were both really lovely and I'm sure they would have provided a lot of help and reassurance if I had been really anxious about my shots. They're there to help, they don't want it to be a negative experience for anyone especially as it's such a positive thing to do for everyone in NZ.

Some other resources: https://www.healthnavigator.org.nz/medicines/i/injection-and-needle-phobia/

Kia kaha all <3