In sixth grade, Marcus Prouty cried when his doctor gave him a flu shot.
Prouty's next thrusts came in 2020 when the 26-year-old got another flu shot as well as two shots after cutting his thumb on an open can.
That was three needles too many for the student at Boise State University in Idaho. "I just don't like them. Never, never will," Prouty told MarketWatch.
Prouty rated his fear of needles between 0 and 10 and said he used to be on a "high 8". Now it's "probably 6, maybe 7". His cousin is a diabetic, he said, and when Prouty sees the needles for insulin shots, he'll get a chill.
"I just don't like her. Never have, never will."
So that's why Prouty really hopes he can get Johnson & Johnson
Single dose COVID-19 vaccine shot.
An advisory committee of the Food and Drug Administration unanimously recommended the FDA on Friday to grant emergency approval for J & J's vaccine candidate. The FDA issued an emergency clearance on Saturday.
This makes the vaccine the third to receive emergency clearance in the US over the weekend, paving the way for the company to deliver the 100 million doses it has pledged to the US government by the end of June.
The FDA's green light could usher in a new level of vaccination effort as the J&J shot can be kept in traditional refrigerators while the extreme cold required for the BNTX vaccines Moderna MRNA and Pfizer PFE / BioNTech occurs.
Both have already received FDA emergency approval and both required two separate doses.
Marcus Prouty is hoping for a COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson. When it comes to needles, "I just don't like them. Never, never."
Across the country, doctors, nurses and other health professionals have given 75.2 million vaccine shots to date, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As of early Monday, 49.8 million people in the US had received their first dose of coronavirus vaccine, and 24.8 million people in the US (or 7.5% of the population) had received two doses, according to the CDC.
The United States had a total of 28.6 million infections and 513,092 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. A total of 114 million people have been infected with the virus worldwide, and there have been 2.5 million COVID deaths worldwide.
Johnson & Johnson's one-shot vaccine could greatly simplify the logistics of mass vaccination, especially for people who live in rural areas and need to travel to the nearest vaccination center.
For people like Prouty, who are squeamish about needles, this could make the prospect of vaccination tastier and less stressful. "That one shot sounds so much better to me," said Prouty.
As of Monday, 49.8 million people in the US (15% of the population) had received their first dose of coronavirus vaccine, and 24.8 million people in the US (7.5% of the population) had received two doses, according to the CDC.
The US has reported a total of 28.6 million infections and 513,092 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Approximately 114 million people have been infected with the virus worldwide, and there have been 2.5 million COVID-related deaths worldwide.
An extreme fear of needles is called trypanophobia.
It could sound so much better to other people who don't like gunfire, said Mary Rogers, an epidemiologist who has retired from the University of Michigan internal medicine department.
In Rogers' research, 16% of adult patients did not get the flu shot for fear of needles.
An extreme fear of needles is a real thing and has its own term: trypanophobia.
Most people with needles worries "have varying degrees of anxiety or stress related to injections," Rogers said. Around 2% of adults in America have more serious needle anxiety, she said.
"I suspect that even one shot could prove to be a barrier for people with real needle phobia," said Rogers. "For those with general fear of needles, a single shot could encourage some to take the COVID vaccine that they might otherwise have avoided."
Prouty insists that if he can just get the Pfizer / BioNTech or Moderna shots he will. "Honestly, I'll suck it up if I have to."
Seven or eight members of Prouty's family have already been vaccinated. He asked her how it was. "This little break will probably be nice," he said of the lapse of time between the first and the second shot.
Fauci tells people not to wait
But if Prouty has to wait a little longer for a better chance at the J&J shot, and if he doesn't have a job that would get him out in public, he said he would wait.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said all three vaccines currently available to Americans are "highly effective" in fighting the coronavirus pandemic and he urged people not to wait.
"I think people need to be vaccinated as soon as possible," Fauci told NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday morning. “I would go to a place that J&J was. I would hesitate to take it. "
People have yet to make a choice about what type of vaccine to get, even if they have a strong feel for needles – or the effectiveness rates of clinical trials. So Prouty will take what he was given. His willingness to take the J&J vaccine underscores his convenience with the slightly different rate of effectiveness of the J&J shot versus the Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna doses.
J&J vaccine trials in the US have found 72% and 85% efficacy rates, respectively, in protecting against severe or critical illness. The Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine is 95% effective and the Moderna vaccine is 94% effective.
"The only way to know one against the other is to compare them head to head and they weren't compared head to head," Fauci said on Sunday. “They have been compared in different circumstances. All three are really pretty good and people should go for the one that is best available today. "
But there are millions of people like Prouty. According to Elizabeth McMahon, a San Francisco-based psychologist who specializes in panic, anxiety, and phobias, the fear of needles in its most severe form is very real.
“A phobia is just as terrible as a real life-threatening fear. It's the same answer. Same intensity. The body, emotions, and mind all react in the same way. It's like this needle could be a weapon, ”she said.
Prouty and people like him have a few tactics to relieve worry and pain, McMahon said the same day she received her own second COVID-19 shot.
"My clinical experience has shown me that people with fear of needles fear it for several reasons," she said.
When it comes to pain, McMahon recommends applying a prescription numbing cream before shooting.
When it comes to a possible fainting spell, McMahon says, a person can use "applied muscle tension," a technique of tensing the muscles that actually increases blood pressure and counteracts the loss of blood pressure that can occur when fainting.
McMahon said people can watch how they think and talk about gunshots to avoid the prospects of doom and darkness building up in their minds. "Our words program our brains," she noted.
For someone who is afraid of needles, words and phrases like "awful," "awful," and "the worst thing you can think of," she said. It would be better to turn the script around and use terms like "uncomfortable", "temporarily painful", or "necessary protection".
Prouty doesn't like needles. But he's still worried. "I've been ready for this since this was declared a pandemic." The more people vaccinated, the faster life will get back to normal, he said. "
"I'm fine if I put my fears aside," he said.
See also: Opinion: How does the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine compare to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines?