ZocdocAnswers"If I am afraid of needles, is there another way to receive the vaccines my doctor says I need?"

Question

"If I am afraid of needles, is there another way to receive the vaccines my doctor says I need?"

So scared of needles! I?m in my late twenties and my doctor said I should get a pneumonia vaccine, cause I haven?t had one. I hate needles though. Do I really need the shot? Is there another way to get the vaccine?

Answer

It's pretty common to be afraid of needles, so you shouldn't feel bad about that! Unfortunately, most vaccines have to be injected with needles. There are a few exceptions, for example a type of flu vaccine which is a nasal spray and some oral vaccines. However, the pneumonia vaccine you are talking about is, unfortunately, one of the ones that needs to be injected. If your doctor thinks you need this shot, then I would say you probably do. Fortunately, the staff in your doctor's office who administer vaccines are likely to be very highly skilled at this. When you go to the office to get your vaccine, you should let them know that you are frightened of needles. They may have you lie down, just in case you get dizzy or lightheaded when they give you the vaccine. After cleaning off the spot on your skin where the vaccine will go, they will quickly injected the vaccine. You may feel some pressure or a little burning sensation at the site, although the process is so rapid and the staff usually so good that it is not uncommon for the shot to be done before you even realize that it was given! Ask your doctor if you have more questions about the process!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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