There can be no doubt that the vaccine rollout programmes across the globe have been widely covered in the press. From the high-paced approach from the UK government, to the more strategic and targeted approach by the United States, there isn’t just one way to go about the large-scale inoculation of a population. Yet, there are real struggles to ensure the success of such programmes, and in a Covid culture one of those challenges is vaccine hesitancy.
Defined by those who either don’t know if they will take the vaccine, or are reporting that they will not get vaccinated, hesitancy is proving to be a sticking point for many health authorities. While this might be a frustrating set-back in the struggle against Covid-19, particularly as the variants continue to spread, there are some important pieces of information worth sharing which may help increase uptake. Here are our top 5:
The vaccine was created quickly and safely
The development of the COVID-19 vaccines did not cut corners on testing for safety and effectiveness. The vaccines were made using processes that have been developed and tested over many years, and which are designed to make vaccines quickly in case of an infectious disease pandemic such as COVID-19. The vaccines themselves were extensively tested by independent scientists, and more than 100 million people in the U.S. have been safely vaccinated.
Diversity in the testing was central to vaccine development
COVID-19 affects everyone, so scientists made sure clinical trial participants for the vaccines were diverse. The clinical trials had a significant spread of ages, genders and ethnic background to ensure that the vaccines were tested in a way that it reflected the population and measured the vaccine effectiveness across the board.
Side effects are temporary and don’t mean you are ill
The vaccines do not contain live coronavirus, and you cannot and will not get COVID-19 from getting vaccinated. After the injections, you might experience a sore arm, a mild fever or body aches, but this doesn’t mean you have COVID-19. These symptoms, if they happen at all, are temporary, usually lasting only a day or two. They signal a natural response as your body’s immune system learns to recognize and fight the coronavirus.
It is important to recognise that trypanophobia poses a significant barrier for some to step forward for each dose of the vaccine. Here at oVRcome we are continuing to develop our programme which utilises exposure therapy using virtual reality technology and cognitive behavioural therapy to support individuals with phobias. We offer a free Fear of Needles test which generates a customised report with some actionable tips for an individual's severity level.
The vaccine offers even more protection
Even if you have already had COVID-19, you should still get a vaccine – and it may help you stay safe, especially from variants such as Delta. Current guidelines suggest that anyone previously infected with COVID-19 should be vaccinated. The shots may offer longer and stronger protection than your natural immunity, which is only a positive thing for you, and those around you.
Being vaccinated helps others in your community
Older people and those living with chronic medical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes are more likely to experience severe cases of COVID-19 if they contract the virus. The more people who receive the vaccines, the sooner vulnerable people can feel safe among others.
If you feel this article has resonated with you, that you are possibly hesitant to get the vaccine as the result of a fear of needles, perhaps you should take a look at our 7 Day Challenge? Available for a range of phobias, you can sign up and each day engage in content which has been designed to support you through your fears.