A recent study of 15,000 UK adults suggested that 10% of vaccine hestancy could be due to needle phobia.
Oxford University published a study in June 2021 that indicated that vaccine phobia was one of the causes of vaccine hesitancy. The study surveyed 15,400 adults. They were asked to rate their anxieties about needles, blood, and their willingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Typically, vaccine-hesitant people cite concerns about the safety and efficacy of the vaccines, and the seriousness of COVID-19. The study observed that fear of needles might also be playing a part. The report showed that COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is slightly higher among younger people and certain ethnic minority groups. Professor Helen McShane, Professor of Vaccinology at Oxford, highlighted that "there are many different reasons for why people are hesitant about receiving a vaccine. A fear of needles is a significant factor in up to 10 percent of people who are vaccine hesitant."
Cambridge University cited Oxford's study and stated that injection fears were higher in youth, Black, and Asian ethnic groups. Cambridge concluded that addressing such phobias will help reduce vaccine hesitancy.
The BBC reported that needle phobia affects about one in 10 people in the U.K. The report quoted psychologist and phobia specialist Robert Edelman, who said that the phobia is related to bad memories and triggers anxiety, which sometimes results in fainting.