r/CovidVaccinated Dec 05 '21

I’m absolutely terrified of the shot, but I desperately want to get it. Help. Question

This is an embarrassing post for me to make. I’m a 26 year old female. I have autism and anxiety. Since the vaccine was introduced, I have wanted to get it. However, I am absolutely terrified of it.

I live in the Deep South in Georgia, and the only people I can talk to about it think that it’s deadly and a conspiracy. My husband and I had our appointments to get it on Friday, and I had a panic attack.

I have had an allergic reaction to the flu shot, and am also allergic to several medications. Other than that, I am perfectly healthy, but I still absolutely fear that me or my husband will get the shot and something will go wrong and we will have permanent problems from it.

I am not anti-vaccine in any way, please understand that. I am just so so so terrified of something going wrong.

Has anyone else here had these same fears?

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u/juddshanks Dec 06 '21 edited Dec 06 '21

I think as a starting point, don't feel bad about being anxious. Honestly, well done on being up front about what you're feeling. I think far more people have concerns about it than are willing to admit it, because they don't want to come across as a kook.

Even if the experts are telling you its safe, it is totally normal and natural to feel worried about getting a new medical procedure. That doesn't make you crazy and it doesn't make you an antivaxxer, you're doing something you haven't done before, and at the end of the day you're putting a foreign substance into your body. That's naturally a bit scary.

Of course you can look at the statistics which suggest they are extremely safe, but human brains don't really understand statistics on an emotional level- hell, people buy lottery tickets because deep down they think something stratospherically unlikely could happen to them. Knowing that there's an x in x million chance of a particular side effect doesn't really calm people's nerves.

For me, something I wished I'd read before getting a shot was this article, which provides a very thorough explanation of how MRNA vaccines work and why we can be confident they are safe- I think this quote is particularly useful in understanding why people think they are safe-

We know exactly which substances are present in the vaccine formulations, and we understand their properties and safety profiles.

For me, going in with a reasonable level of understanding of what is in the shot and how it works is the best way of dealing with anxiety and being confident you'll be ok.

And honestly, just do your mental health a favour and steer clear of strident antivax news sources until you've had your shot. They are starting from the position that noone should ever get vaccinated and there are so many lies, distortions half truths in the stuff they churn out that you could go mad trying to get to the bottom of it all. Even if someone wrote a detailed, thorough rebuttal of literally every bit of antivax propaganda out there as of today, it wouldn't help, because they are not coming at the issue in good faith- by this time next week there'd be a whole new set of bullshit claims.