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Treating Needle Fears May Reduce COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy Rates by 10%

A new large-scale study shows that a quarter of the UK adult population screens positive for a potential injection phobia.

Strikingly, these individuals were twice as likely to report that they were COVID-19 vaccine hesitant – that is, they would put off getting vaccinated or indeed never get the jab. The study indicates that if all injection anxiety in the population was removed then just over 10% of instances of vaccine hesitancy might disappear too.

Researchers from the University of Oxford, funded by the National Institute for Health (NIHR) Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and the Oxford Health BRC, asked a representative group of 15,014 UK adults in the third Oxford Coronavirus Explanations, Attitudes, and Narratives Survey (OCEANS-III) to rate their anxieties about needles and blood, and asked them about their willingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The results concerning injection fears are published today in the journal Psychological Medicine.

Read the full story on the University of Oxford website