Having a Positive Vaccination Experience
Vaccine Anxiety Series Part 1
By Asal Bastani
Getting vaccinated can be an intimidating experience. That anxiety can stem from the anxiety of needles, a lack of support, or just general uncertainty. But with the right preparation and mindset, anyone can have a positive vaccination experience! Here are some tips on how to do it!:
Do good research
Anxiety can stem from having some unanswered questions that lead your mind to wander. It’s totally understandable and completely normal. To help put your mind at ease it might be useful to know that vaccinations are highly researched before being put out to the public. So chances are the answer to your question is out there somewhere. But keep in mind, it’s easy to get lost in misinformation on the internet. To ensure that you have verified facts, make sure to get your information from reputable sources such as the CDC, research universities, and health organizations. A great place to start researching the COVID vaccine is our facts and questions page!
Have a realistic mindset and be prepared
Often times when we have anxiety about a future event, we tend to catastrophize it, convincing ourselves that the worse possible thing will happen. But it’s important to stay realistic. For example, the COVID-19 vaccine is known for the side effects of the second dose. However, most side effects tend to subside after a few days, which is a small price to pay for immunity. There are ways to take care of yourself when these side effects do get intense, such as making sure you have a couple of days to recuperate after your second dose and making sure you have someone you can count on if you need anything. For more information on the benefits of having a positive and realistic mindset and how to identify negative thinking check out this article by the Mayo Clinic!
Self-affirmations, encouragement and proactivity
Anxiety can be a hard thing to tackle, but having a positive outlook will help a ton. For example, if you are afraid of needles, telling yourself that it takes “five seconds of courage” to get a vaccine might help. If you can, take a friend along with you to the appointment for support. And lastly, take care of yourself and your mental health. Getting vaccinated is a personal choice and experience that you can make whenever you feel comfortable, so no rush. It’s okay to be hesitant, just make sure to seek out answers and don’t sit on your anxiety! Be proactive in educating yourself and others. Good luck!
Blogger: Asal Bastani
Asal Bastani is a third year at UCLA studying physiology with a minor in professional writing. She aspires to become a physician-advocate in the future to help create more equitable healthcare in marginalized communities.