Overcoming needle phobia: One prick and Covid-19 jab will be over before you know it

A college student, in a letter to an English-language daily yesterday, shared how he was reprimanded by his lecturer for being the only one in his class who had not been vaccinated.

The student explained that he has a fear of needles and suffers from trypanophobia, a condition marked by the irrational and extreme fear of blood or needles.

Needle phobia is a serious condition that deserves attention. I sympathise with the student and agree that the teacher could have used more tact in conveying the message that no one is safe until everyone is safe.

The student said that he is waiting for the nasal spray Covid-19 vaccine, which is expected to be delivered worldwide next year.

I strongly feel that instead of waiting for next year, he should take concrete steps, at this early stage of his life, to overcome this phobia of needles.

Being young, he still has a long way to go in life and periodic visits to the doctors will be necessary. And some things in life we cannot avoid – like getting an injection.

The basic test which doctors usually prescribe is a blood test – an intrinsic part of medical diagnosis and treatment which can reveal a whole lot of information. Based on the blood test results, the right medication will be prescribed.

Other than blood tests, he may need an intravenous drip or an injection. What if he needs a blood transfusion? If he becomes a diabetic in the later part of his life, he may need daily insulin jabs to stay alive.

Like it or not, he must learn to overcome this fear or phobia of needles; the earlier the better.

Thus, he needs to seek help from a psychologist or therapist to reduce his fear and anxiety. Since this is a learned response, he will need to unlearn this fear.

As for the Covid-19 vaccination, do look away and expect an ant bite. It’s over even before you know it. Think positively that ‘I can do this … I will do this …’ and it will be all over within two seconds, before the negative thoughts have a chance to come into play.

I admit this is easier said than done but the student will have to try very much harder for his own sake and for the sake of the community.

Think how a simple vaccine can save your own life – by reducing the severity of Covid-19 should you get infected.

After all, the Health Ministry revealed that the unvaccinated are 11 times more likely to die from the Delta variant than those who have received jabs against Covid-19.

This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Twentytwo13.

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