Nearly 25% (more than 82 million) of the US population are fully vaccinated. And an estimated 206 million doses of vaccines have been administered.
But the virus that causes COVID-19 is still new. Scientists are still learning about its implications. And concerns over the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines continue to cause fear and anxiety.
In December 2020, a Kaiser Family Foundation poll discovered that 27% of adults did not want to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
To curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, scientists estimate that about 70% to 85% of the country needs to reach herd immunity. Scientists are relying on the ongoing development of vaccines and their continued widespread adoption.
That’s not all. We still need to deal with the nation’s mental health issues amid ongoing vaccinations.
In this article, we show you how to prepare for various mental shifts pre and post coronavirus vaccine.
Mental shifts can help us progress with COVID-19 solutions
It may sound like a cliché, but we have to change our mindsets to accomplish different results.
How can we achieve a mental shift?
Here are some methods that can help change the way we think about vaccines.
- Show empathy. Empathy is an important step in helping people overcome their fear.
People are often hesitant for a variety of reasons. Maybe they’ve experienced side effects from vaccines in the past or know a family member who has. Or maybe they believe a narrative about the effects of the vaccine.
Whatever their reasons may be, listening and understanding are keys to helping them beat their anxiety.
- Personalize information. Generic information doesn’t help. The more you tweak information to the needs of individuals, the more the information answers their questions and relieves anxiety.
- Have a positive mindset. Psychologists have studied the power of positive thinking for years. One study showed that rehearsing positive images or verbal thoughts significantly reduced anxiety and worry.
Pre-vaccine: 3 mental shifts to have before you take your COVID-19 vaccine
Planning before any event can help to reduce fear and anxiety.
Here are three mental shifts that can alleviate any fears you may have about the COVID-19 vaccines.
1. Knowledge is power
The more you know, the less anxious you’ll be. Before you register for your COVID-19 vaccine, have the mental shift that knowledge is power. Arm yourself with knowledge about the COVID-19 vaccines—types, advantages, and adverse effects—to help you answer questions you may have.
Set aside time to gather sufficient data from authoritative sources about the vaccines. Make sure that you use credible sources. Authoritative organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have all the details you need. Learn more about finding credible vaccine information.
Learn about the vaccines available in your area. The current COVID-19 vaccines in the US include Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccines. However, the CDC and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have paused the use of Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine out of an abundance of caution over recent side effects.
2. Your awareness of adverse reactions is important
Being aware that some people have reported allergic reactions (some severe) from the COVID-19 vaccines is crucial. Your awareness helps you stay alert and keeps you focused on observing how you react when you get your shots.
A recent JAMA medical study reported 21 cases of anaphylaxis (a life-threatening allergic reaction that occurs within minutes to hours) out of 1,893,360 recipients of the first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
The CDC released a list of ingredients in the COVID-19 vaccines. Before taking your COVID-19 vaccine, check this list to make sure you are not allergic to any of the ingredients.
Post-vaccine: 2 mental shifts to have after taking your vaccine
1. Allow for time to build immunity against COVID-19
After you receive your full dose for the COVID-19 vaccine, you need to give your body time to build immunity against the virus.
According to the CDC, it typically takes two weeks for your body to become immune. This means that you should follow the same recommended guidelines for pre-vaccinated people while you wait to get protection against the virus that causes COVID-19.
After two weeks, you may be able to start doing some things you used to do before the pandemic.
2. Scientists are still learning how well vaccines will protect people
Although the COVID-19 vaccines are keeping people from getting sick, scientists are still learning everything about them. Therefore, your mindset should focus on keeping your community protected even after you’re fully vaccinated.
Although fully vaccinated people can resume normal activities and visit public places, the CDC still recommends wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and washing hands often.