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

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Blue ribbons popping up along streets in Abbotsford in praise of B.C. healthcare workers

Healthcare worker’s family starts local trend of morale support

Abbotsford Agrifair’s 2020 event still in the works

Fair will respect COVID-19 health directives, but continuing plans in hope ban will be lifted

Learning after spring break: more details from Abbotsford School District’s superintendent

Parents to receive call from teachers next week, asked to conduct survey to tailor learning needs

Abbotsford’s Mandarin Garden Buffet offering free food to those in need

Chinese food restaurant providing free fried rice or chow mein to those struggling during pandemic

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Sewers stitch masks to free up supplies for front-line health-care workers

“We have little old ladies sewing up a storm,” said Joan Davis

B.C. Ferries passengers staying away, as asked, during COVID-19 pandemic

Ferry corporation says ridership down 70-80 per cent over the last week and a half

Experts weigh in on best handling of groceries during COVID-19 pandemic

Study suggests the virus can live for up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on plastic

COVID-19 world update: Enforceable quarantine in NYC?; France orders 1 billion masks

Spain warns EU’s future at stake; New York governor calls Trump’s idea ‘federal declaration of war

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

Most Read