How to overcome your fear of needles

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– People who took the Pfizer vaccine may have to take a third COVID-19 shot which could be a big deal for those afraid of needles.

Currently, one in three Missourians has had at least their first shot of a COVID-19 vaccine. However, to reach herd immunity at least 70% of the United States will need to be vaccinated.

According to the National Library of Medicine, 20 to 30% of young adults are afraid of needles. Local Cox Psychologist Diana Bastien says if you have a fear of needles your first thought might be to stay far away from a situation such as getting vaccinated. However, that’s not the best idea.

“I think we need to keep in mind that it only makes it worse for us because it gets our anxiety lowered temporarily, but that cycle just continues and continues,” said Dr. Bastien. “It’s just not sustainable long term so definitely having confidence in yourself to face these things head-on.”

Dr. Bastien suggests deep breathing exercises leading up to the time of the shot. She also suggests thinking back to an enjoyable experience you have had in the past or counting.

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