Motivational Approach to Those with Vaccine Anxiety is Important!

Motivational approach is important for those who have anxiety about vaccination.
Motivational approach is important for those who have anxiety about vaccination.

Pointing out the importance of vaccination in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, experts emphasize that there are three groups: those who support the vaccine, those who refuse the vaccine and those who avoid the vaccine. Experts noted that meeting with motivational approaches, especially with those who have vaccination anxiety, will increase vaccination rates. Experts also draw attention to some psychiatric symptoms that occur independently of the biological effect of the vaccine before or after vaccination.

Üsküdar University NP Feneryolu Medical Center Psychiatrist Assist. Assoc. Dr. Barış Önen Ünsalver gave information about the psychophysiological symptoms that occur with the vaccine with the anxiety of vaccination.

Vaccination is important in the fight against the pandemic

Stating that vaccination is of great importance in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic, Assist. Assoc. Dr. Barış Önen Ünsalver said that the general opposition to vaccines, which started to sprout before the pandemic, continues with Covid-19 vaccines, despite the state's great efforts to spread vaccination.

Asst. Assoc. Dr. Barış Önen Ünsalver, “On the other hand, in the post-truth era we live in, pseudoscience (pseudoscience) people create their own realities and cause a great confusion.” said.

The group that is likely to be vaccinated is crushed in between

Stating that there is a polarization in the form of vaccine advocates and anti-vaccine opponents, a group that may actually be vaccinated is crushed together, Assist. Assoc. Dr. Barış Önen Ünsalver said, “This group of people who are afraid of vaccines, but are neither anti-vaccine nor anti-science. They, too, are being melted in the same pot as the anti-vaccine. Moreover, they cannot talk to anyone about their vaccination concerns, with the accusations of "ignorant", "irresponsible", "selfish" directed against them. Many people who are worried and avoid vaccines, both in order not to harm anyone and because they are worried about being COVID-19, actually have to live an isolated life without going out in public.” said.

Those with vaccine anxiety can be motivated

Emphasizing that there are three groups: those who support the vaccine, those who refuse the vaccine and those who avoid the vaccine, Ünsalver noted that meeting with motivational approaches, especially with those who have vaccine anxiety, will increase the rates of vaccination.

There may be psychiatric symptoms

Pointing out that there may be some psychiatric symptoms that occur independently of the biological effect of the vaccine before or after vaccination, Assist. Assoc. Dr. Barış Önen Ünsalver said, “People who experience these psychiatric symptoms may be more worried by thinking that the vaccine causes side effects, and the physical symptoms related to anxiety may increase even more. If the psychophysiological responses to the vaccine are known, the fear and avoidance of the vaccine will decrease as these symptoms will disappear with psychiatric intervention.” he said.

Three different psychophysiological symptoms can be seen

Noting that there may be three different psychophysiological symptom groups that occur with the vaccine, Assist. Assoc. Dr. Barış Önen Ünsalver stated that the first of these is an acute stress response and said:

“This is the situation in which the person flees or fights the threat/danger as a result of the dominance of the sympathetic branch of the nervous system, which comes into play in all mammals in threat/danger situations and operates autonomously in the body, that is, without the control of consciousness on its own. As a result of increased sympathetic nervous system activity, physical symptoms such as increase in heart rate (palpitations), rapid breathing, and as a result dizziness or blackout, difficulty in breathing, numbness in hands and feet, sweating and tremors occur.

The stress response can be interpreted as a response to the vaccine.

If this response occurs after the vaccination, the person may think that he/she has an allergic response to the vaccine and therefore will suffocate and die, and as a result, acute stress symptoms may increase even more and the person may enter a vicious circle. Experiencing these can be traumatic for many. Because the person may interpret it as a reaction to the vaccine, not a stress response. Even if some know that it is a stress response to the vaccine, experiencing all these somatic symptoms can be so frightening that the person will both avoid the second dose of vaccine and convey to the environment that the vaccine is something to be avoided.”

Dizziness, blackout, fainting may occur

Stating that the second psychophysiological response to the vaccine is the "vasovagal response", Assist. Assoc. Dr. Barış Önen Ünsalver said, “This is a situation similar to people who faint when they see blood or have an injection. In some people, the sympathetic nervous system is dominant in response to stress, while in some individuals, the parasympathetic system, which is the opposite system, may be overactive, resulting in dizziness, blackout, nausea, sweating and fainting. These people have low blood pressure due to the predominance of parasympathetic activity, and there may be a short-term loss of consciousness due to insufficient blood pumping to the brain. warned.

You may experience muscle weakness, feeling like paralysis

Stating that the third and rarest psychophysiological response is dissociative neurological symptoms, Assist. Assoc. Dr. Barış Önen Ünsalver said, “These may be in the form of muscle weakness of psychological origin without any neurological or other medical cause, or even feeling like paralysis, impaired speech, confusion, seizures mimicking epilepsy. These symptoms may not appear immediately after vaccination, but may develop several days later, and are therefore most likely to be interpreted as vaccine-related.” he said.

Assist. Assoc. Dr. Barış Önen Ünsalver pointed out that people who are not vaccinated and who are worried about the vaccine may associate such psychophysiological responses with the vaccine, as they have increased selective attention to who has what kind of effect after the vaccination experience.

Information about the side effects of vaccines should be given.

Noting that people with high anxiety look for clues that support their negative expectations about whatever they are worried about, and they see these data as larger than they are with a cognitive distortion, Assist. Assoc. Dr. Barış Önen Ünsalver concluded his words as follows:

“Especially since the biological side effects that occur after vaccination are not reported clearly, that is, due to the lack of information, the person with vaccination anxiety will make a reduction that every symptom that occurs after vaccination is caused by the vaccine. For this reason, the side effects of vaccines should be determined by scientific methods and made public. If people who avoid vaccination due to anxiety disorder or vaccination anxiety can be identified, it may be easier for them to accept vaccination with psychiatric support.”

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