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

Northern Health ready for COVID-19 surge

Health authority confident with inventory of ventilators

How to cope with your mental health during a global pandemic

Becca Shears, clinical counsellor in Vanderhoof speaks about ways to deal with stress and anxiety during this time.

MP for Cariboo-Prince George writes a letter to residents amidst COVID-19

‘Partisan politics have no place in a pandemic,’ writes MP Todd Doherty

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

Sinclar Group curtailing all sawmill operations temporarily

Nechako Lumber, Apollo Forest Products and Lakeland Mills to be curtailed for three weeks starting April 5.

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Most Read