THERAPY DOGS TO HELP PEOPLE WITH NEEDLE ANXIETY AT COVID-19 VACCINE CLINIC

Source: CBC (Extract)
Posted: September 9, 2021

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic happening Thursday in Spryfield, N.S., will use therapy dogs to help create a calming and supportive environment for people who have needle anxiety.

The event is happening from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. local time at Dalhousie University’s family medicine clinic at the Spryfield Wellness Centre.

The idea for the clinic came from a young man with Down syndrome who has a fear of needles, said Dr. Karen McNeil, a family doctor who works at the teaching clinic.

“We should acknowledge that there is not only this gentleman, there’s lots of people out there who have anxiety around vaccines,” she said.

The drop-in clinic is for people 12 and over looking for a first or second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

As part of helping make people feel comfortable, there will be therapy dogs and handlers present from St. John Ambulance.

McNeil said the clinic is meant for people with needle anxiety, not needle phobia, which is a much more extreme fear of needles. Neither is it for people who are comfortable with the vaccination process.

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