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Hello and welcome to the Neurodiversity Health Chats Blog. Here, we share information aimed at providing the neurodiverse community with information related to the COVID-19 vaccine and the neurodiverse community.



Debunking the Myth: Vaccines Cause Autism

By: Tammy Shen

UCLA undergraduate Tammy Shen breaks down the myths that falsely correlate autism and vaccination. As COVID-19 cases were on the rise, the compliance of parents to get their children vaccinated was necessary to flatten heightened case numbers.

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Self Advocacy in Healthcare and Why It Matters

By: Sydney Huynh

What is self advocacy?

Self advocacy is the ability to vocalize your needs in various settings such as healthcare. 

What are patient rights?

Every patient is guaranteed a list of rights within healthcare.

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How the vaccine was made in such a quick turn around

By:  Yailanis Cruz

“How was the COVID-19 vaccine developed so quickly?” This is one of the main questions people have continued to ask since the public release of the COVID-19 vaccines. Given the fact that it has taken decades for other vaccines to become available to the public, such as those for influenza and polio, it was expected that many would be wary of the COVID-19 vaccines that were seemingly made in such a quick turn around.

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How Police Violence has Contributed to Vaccine Hesitancy in the Black Community

By Asal Bastani

Co-authored by Dr. Shanice Neecey Hudson

2020 was marked by the global COVID-19 pandemic along with the height of the Black Lives Matter movement that was sparked by the unjust death of George Floyd.

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How to Deal with Vaccine Anxiety

(Vaccine Anxiety Series Part 2)

By: Yailanis Cruz

Recently, the CDC has revealed that symptoms, such as becoming dizzy, nauseated, or fainting are due to anxiety as opposed to side effects of the actual vaccine. Whether you have a fear of needles or feel uncertain about the vaccine, here are some ways you can tackle vaccine anxiety:

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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 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!

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Needle Anxiety Program: Lessons Learned from Program Leadership

By: Laila Khorasani

Needle anxiety refers to a phobia of needles that impairs someone’s ability to receive vaccines, injections, or other procedures that require needles. It’s estimated that up to 10% of the general population suffers from some form of needle phobia. Additionally, it’s expected that needle anxiety, in conjunction with other factors, may have contributed to low flu vaccination rates among the disability community during the pandemic. We at NDHC had the opportunity to interview clinicians and staff with UCLA’s needle anxiety program to get a better understanding of what needle anxiety is and how it impacts the neurodiverse community.

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Talking about Vaccine Hesitancy

By:  Asal Bastani

As more and more people become eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine, not everyone is so thrilled at the thought of being vaccinated. People who are “on the fence” about vaccination are what we call “vaccine hesitant.” This opinion piece discusses various techniques that one can take when talking about vaccines to someone who is vaccine hesitant.

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