Getting a Coronavirus Vaccination with a Needle Phobia isn’t ideal. I personally feel that a lot of people will think they have a needle phobia but really it is just not really liking needles. Who does?! When it was time for me to book and subsequently have my first vaccination. I was so grateful of all the support I received to help me. I understand just how important this vaccination is – for myself, my family and the wider population. The real deciding factor has to be the fear of the virus itself – and how many more needles this could lead to!
My Needle Phobia
My needle phobia heightened the moment this booking was possible. I was crying, shaking, feeling sick, it disturbed my sleep. I knew that I could change my mind at any time. Lots of people had told me that I wouldn’t know anything about it. Some people described it – but I didn’t want to hear that, so won’t put it here!
Things that really helped me were people acknowledging it. Not trying to solve it, just saying how they knew it was hard for me. Not even understood, because I don’t really think a lot of people truly do. Other people tried to be rational – explaining to me how important it is, and I know they were trying to be helpful, but honestly phobias aren’t rational. But each and every person who offered support I really appreciated it.
Booking a Coronavirus vaccination
Booking a Coronavirus vaccination was really simple. When it was my time I went on the NHS website with my NHS number (you can also do it without) and answered some questions. I got to pick the date, time and location from a range of choices. Also I got to book my second vaccination at the same time as the first. Therefore, I was able to book them on a Saturday so that my husband could be with me. Finally it produced some reference numbers to take with me and information on what to expect.
Coronavirus Vaccination Experience
Waiting for the Coronavirus vaccination was really quick but felt like forever. We were asked to be as close to our time slot as possible. It was a little drive away from where we live and so ended up being early. I had booked a slot early in the day to get it over and done with. The waiting just made it awful.
My husband decided to go into the supermarket to buy some essentials we needed, thus leaving me alone for a while. I became hysterical, tears cascading down my face, shaking so badly. Then just at that moment our 17 year old son sent me the most wonderful supportive message and it really helped ground me again.
Once it was time we joined the queue. It was great that I knew the lady in front of me. We were welcomed in at the door and explained that it was the AstraZeneca vaccination and given a leaflet. They also allowed my husband to come in with me, which I wasn’t expecting. I knew that I was likely to have the AstraZeneca Vaccination due to the fact that I opted to go to a chemist.
You are meant to read the leaflet beforehand but I was so worried about the needle that I did not do this until afterwards. To be fair it wasn’t going to make a difference to me as to whether I was going to get it done or not.
Support for my needle phobia whilst getting the Coronavirus Vaccination
There was hand sanitiser and a bit more of a queue to the lady checking us in. Once I got there I had to tell the lady my reference number. I was getting closer and, although was trying to keep my crying, shaking and breathing under control, it was becoming harder to do. The lady picked up on this and asked me if I was okay. Embarrassingly I just blurted out that I had a needle phobia.
The Waiting Area
The waiting area was three rows of two seats all spaced out. Cleaned every time someone got off them. We just sat where there was a space and went when it was our turn. Again I was glad I knew the lady in front of me as it gave me one less thing to worry about as I knew when it was my turn.
My turn for the AstraZeneca Vaccination
When I heard the lady say goodbye, and I knew this was it, I used all my strength to just stay calm and breathe! The receptionist lady excused herself from her computer to the next person coming in and hurried up to the man vaccinating to let him know of my phobia. He did not have a clue, bless him. I asked for it to be done in my right arm (I am left handed) and so he came round to the other side.
Seeing the Needles
I briefly saw needles lay on a tray and looked away and tried to pretend they weren’t there. I am short-sighted so at least I didn’t see them clearly. Honestly I may have even been mistaken. He asked if I was pregnant whilst wiping down my arm. He wanted to tell me when he was going to do it but I pleaded for him to just not let me know. Another lady checked my date of birth and just like that it was done! Honestly he could have just used a biro and tapped my arm.
It was over -right? No because I have a needle phobia and so I still knew I was by needles .It felt like forever they kept me there talking, but I am sure it was really quick (especially how fast each person left from the waiting room). I know they checked if I wanted a drink – but I had one at the car.
There was a waiting area a little further on which you are meant to sit in for 15 minutes. I just needed to escape. Again I was offered a bottle of water and assured that they would be there if I had any side effects. We sat in the car a while with my drink before we went away.
Side Effects of AstraZeneca Vaccination
The man giving the AstraZeneca Vaccination had said that I needed to drink plenty or the next day I would have a bad headache. I did drink loads and rested a lot. I thought it would all be over quickly. In general I have been tired, had a headache and a sore arm. It actually comes and goes. Or at least I think it is to do with the vaccination.
I thought I was over it all and ran 10 miles. This was harder than usual and afterwards the headache came back with vengeance. As did the tiredness. I have heard this sort of thing a lot in my age group (late thirties to forties). Apparently dropping hormone levels could have an impact but this is not a scientific fact.