York Region is holding a special anxiety-reducing COVID-19 vaccine clinic for residents who are nervous or unsure of needles or vaccinations.
The clinic is being held on Friday, Nov. 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the York Region building, located at 9060 Jane St. in Vaughan.
Anyone aged 5+ who has anxiety or fear surrounding the vaccine is able to go, but the clinic is specifically catering to those who haven't yet received a first dose and are anxious about it, or individuals who had a difficult experience with their first dose and have been hesitant to receive their second.
Extra supports will be available, and staff at the clinic are specially trained to help people with needle anxiety and provide coping mechanisms throughout the process. More time has been allotted for each person as well.
In order to accommodate and plan for the extra time needed, this clinic is operating on an appointment-only basis and will not be accepting walk-ins. Appointments for those five and older can be made on York Region's website.
For both age groups they recommend following the CARD system: Comfort, Ask, Relax, Distract.
They encourage you to learn about the vaccine process and consider what would make you more comfortable like wearing short-sleeves or choosing whether sitting or lying down would be better.
You're also advised to ask your doctor or someone you trust about the vaccine and get their advice on any pain management or coping mechanisms you can try.
Ahead of the vaccination, you're encouraged to think about ways you normally relax, like deep-breathing, and plan how you can keep yourself calm and relaxed.
Finally, if you think you'll need a distraction during the vaccination process, think about what you could bring with you to take your mind off the needle.
You are also encouraged to eat something before and after your appointment and remain positive.
Parents of children who will be getting vaccinated are encouraged to talk with their kid about what to expect and explain why vaccines are important to help protect them.
The anxiety-reducing clinic is one of many clinics being held across York Region this week.