There’s a good chance that you have not gotten the COVID-19 vaccine already. In some states, not everyone can get it. In states where you can, it’s a rush to get them.
This past year has been nothing but anxiety. Maybe you were worried about contracting COVID-19, or perhaps you were worried your relatives would. Even though the pandemic’s end may be close by, getting the vaccine is another anxious obstacle you must face.
What is Vaccine Anxiety?
In the context of COVID-19 vaccines, the vaccine anxiety you’re facing tends to involve you worried that the vaccine will have some side effects that are extreme.
For example, you may worry that taking the vaccine will cause a severe allergic reaction. You may also worry about somehow contracting the virus through the vaccine.
Also, you may worry because it’s a new vaccine. Despite the fact that it has been tested, and the fact that many have had it and had no side-effects, you may still worry. From wondering if you’ll be an exception to side-effects down the road, it can lead to anxiety.
Vaccine anxiety can also come in the simple form of you just not liking needles. However, it mostly stems from worry. In order to quell vaccine anxiety, here are some ways you can do so.
Avoid Dubious Sources
Sometimes, vaccine anxiety just comes from misinformation online. Maybe your uncle shared a post that you know is not true, but your mind wonders, “what if?” Perhaps you do believe the science, but you wonder about the unknowns.
The first thing you should do is to visit credible sources. Look at the CDC’s website, talk to a doctor, or visit other health websites that are accredited.
If you are wondering about the fear of the unknown, read up on previous vaccines. Also, compare the possible side effects of a vaccine with the side effects of COVID. COVID-19 can have some lingering side effects that can last a long time, after all.
Acknowledge the Anxiety
Also, what is important is being able to face your anxiety instead of trying to bottle it up.
Often, we try to avoid our anxieties, and this can lead us to not making a decision. In the case of the COVID vaccine, you may hold off on anxieties, but you may also hold off on getting the vaccine as well.
If you have worries, do not let them run from you. Take a deep dive into your psyche and try to figure out why you are worried and how you can fix it.
While putting your mind off the anxiety can help, so can facing your anxiety head-on. One of the most important aspects of therapy, after all, is being able to look inside your head and admit if you have concerns.
Is Your Fear of Anxiety Connected With the Fear of COVID?
There are some people who fear COVID, reasonably so, and fear the vaccine at the same time. Often, our minds may associate two things that couldn’t be further from being opposites.
In the case of COVID-19 vaccines, you may worry about it having a dead virus in there. Remember that vaccines are specially designed to help your body gain immunity to the virus, and it’s not the same as catching the virus whatsoever. Read up on the vaccine process if you are still afraid.
Remember Your Previous Vaccinations
Chances are, you’ve been vaccinated many times. Have you had any ill effects because of them? No? Then, there’s a low chance that anything will happen with the next set of vaccines. It’s as simple as that.
If you don’t remember your vaccines, why not ask your family members for any medical records they may have? You may realize just how many vaccinations you have had without having any problems.
Talk About Your Concerns With Somebody
It can sound embarrassing, but talking about your concerns to a friend or family member is helpful. You can also try to find an online community, but avoid communities that can fuel your anxieties. For example, talking about your fears of the vaccine to an anti-vaxx group may not be a smart idea.
One way you can get help is to talk with someone who has gotten the vaccine. They can tell you how the process went, if they had any side effects worth noting, and they can give you reassurance if you are looking for it.
Remember Other People
If you are a highly empathetic person, remember that other people are at risk if you don’t get the vaccine.
The virus is easily spreadable. You may not die from it, but what about someone who is immunocompromised? What about an older relative? Realizing that there is more at risk than just you can give you some motivation to get that vaccine and help others who are at more risk of dying compared to you or other close relatives.
Also, remember herd immunity. The vaccine won’t work fully until the majority of the population has it. This knowledge can give you the motivation that you need to get the vaccine.
Of course, no matter what you do, it’s still possible for you to have an irrational fear. Who doesn’t have fears that seem difficult to conquer?
That’s why it’s essential for you to talk to a therapist about your fears. Therapy uses many different proven techniques to tackle anxieties and fears we have.
For example, a therapist may gradually expose you to your fears. Alternatively, they may help you to get to the bottom of why you have those fears to begin with.
Right now, we are also able to speak to therapists online. If you are afraid of catching COVID-19, you can speak with a therapist through your mobile device or computer. BetterHelp is one such solution you can try. They are an online therapy hub that can connect you with a licensed therapist. For more information, visit them and learn how you can get started.