FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2018 file photo, a nurse prepares a flu shot at the Salvation Army in Atlanta. The flu forecast is cloudy and it’s too soon to know if the U.S. is in for a third miserable season in a row, but health officials said Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019 not to delay vaccination. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

health news

This flu season, B.C. pharmacies will offer numbing cream to help ease needle phobia

Numbing cream has experts hoping it’s just the prescription needed to get more people vaccinated

It’s not uncommon for people’s trypanophobia, or fear of needles, to flare up during flu season and major pharmacies are hoping a new pain-free needle initiative will be just the cure to ensure Canadians get vaccinated.

London Drugs, Rexall and other pharmacies in B.C. will be teaming up with Alera Skin Care in the coming months to offer patients age two and older the option of being given numbing cream ahead of their flu shot free of charge, the companies announced in a news release Tuesday.

Zensa Numbing Cream, approved by Health Canada, desensitizes skin in as quick as ten minutes. Experts are hopeful that it will replace the recently discontinued nasal spray flu vaccine.

The goal of the initiative is to provide Canadians who may be fearful of the flu shot, especially children, with an option that may help quell their anxieties.

ALSO READ: This year’s flu vaccine is way more effective than last year

According to a recent Insights West poll, 36 per cent of British Columbians don’t plan to get a flu shot this year due to misconceptions about the benefits of the vaccine and concerns about its safety.

That’s despite influenza and pneumonia being among the top 10 leading causes of death in the country – killing 3,500 people and landing 1,200 more in the hospital each year.

“We want to make sure there are no hindrances to people getting protection from the flu virus and Zensa should help; especially when it comes to individuals who may be nervous about getting the shot,” London Drugs pharmacy manager Chris Chiew said.

ALSO READ: Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

In September, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control warned that the first delivery of vaccines was delayed this year, but pharmacies will back fill to have enough in October.

Pharmacists are also providing a number of tips for parents and caregivers to help rid the fear of needles among children:

  1. Talk to your child about the needle phobia. Find out where the fear is stemming from and talk through different options with them to ease the anxiety.
  2. Eliminate pain by using a numbing cream. Many children are most anxious about the pain that comes from the prick of the needle.
  3. Lead by example. Demonstrate that the experience doesn’t need to be a painful one, by modelling calmness through your own flu shot.
  4. Use positive reinforcement and avoid negative needle talk.

@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sarah Simpson column: Bigger isn’t always better

One item there was a two-foot-tall candy cane.

Void of summer events going to be felt in Chemainus

CBIA cancels Classics Car Show and Canada Day celebrations

Land purchase brings early treaty benefit to Halalt First Nation

Ownership taken of Crofton Corners and Chemainus River Storage

RCMP remind drivers of school zone safety as classes resume

Keep your foot off the gas or police might get their hands… Continue reading

Centennial Hall upgrade, parking lot paving among postponed capital projects in Lake Cowichan

Council lowers tax increase for the year due to COVID-19 crisis

Only four new COVID-19 cases, 228 active across B.C.

Health officials watching as activities ramp up

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

Telegraph Cove Resort will open June 1 to self-contained campers only

Washrooms, showers and all other amenities will remain closed for now

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

COVID cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a BC mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Stepdad able to walk bride down the aisle days before he passes away

Ceremony held amidst pandemic in order to fulfill bride’s wish to have stepdad give her away

Most Read