Some worry about having an immunization is common, in children, youth and adults! Being prepared, having a plan and using strategies we know work can set you up for success to receive the vaccine in your community, or at a mass vaccination site!
Children’s Hospital at London Health Sciences Centre, in partnership with Middlesex-London Health Unit, is offering a COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic for children and youth aged 12 to 17, including those that may benefit from extra support.
You or your child may benefit from the extra supports the Children’s Hospital COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic offers if any of the following are true:
- You or your child have needle anxiety and you are behind on immunizations or avoid bloodwork
- You or your child have general anxiety that may require extra support
- You or your child have behavioral needs, and may require extra time
- You or your child sensory needs (such as low stimulation, limited people and private room)
Appointments can be booked on the Middlesex-London Health Unit booking portal. Parents, caregivers and other household family members (age 12+) of the youth are welcome to be vaccinated at the same time. Please also book an appointment for those people on the same day. They will be seen close together if they arrive at the clinic at the same time.
If you or your child would like a preparation phone call prior to arriving for your appointment, please email email@example.com.
Book your appointment today. Enter Gate #2 (select “I attest that I am over 12 years of age or am turning 12 years old in 2021.”), then select The Children’s Hospital COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic.
Date and Time:
Tuesdays from 4:00 - 7:00 pm
Children’s Hospital, Pediatric Medical Day Unit
Zone B, Level 1
Free Parking is available for those with vaccination appointments. Please park in the lot of London Health Sciences Foundation parking lot across from the Children's Hospital Zone B Entrance. Should you require accessible parking in the garage, please proceed to the parkade 8 and let a staff member know when you arrive to the clinic.
Preparing for your visit
You know your child best, which gives you a key role in preparing your child for life experiences. This includes your child’s vaccination appointments.
Before the appointment, and during the appointment, it’s important for you to model relaxation skills and have a calm and positive tone with your child, at all ages and stages.
Did you know that 25% of adults have a fear of needles? For children that number is even higher! You are not alone. Planning before you come is key! Below are tools for both adults and children to help you plan to help cope with the worry having a needle can bring.
Print out or bring your coping plan with you to help our team members make your experience as comfortable as possible.
Other considerations for preparing for your visit:
- Ensure that you and your child have a snack and drink before. Being hungry or thirsty can make it hard to focus or stay calm.
- Make your plan! Having a plan can help you or your child feel in control. Check out the tools above to guide planning. There are additional resources below.
- Consider numbing cream. Numbing cream can be purchase at your local pharmacy. Ask a pharmacist about proper location and application.
- Bring items with you that are distracting or comforting. This could be a favourite blanket, stuffy, soother, book, tablet, are toy. Often headphones help make video/game distraction more effective!
- Be honest with your child – do not lie about the purpose of the visit. For children 12 and over, tell them when the appointment is made or at least two weeks prior. They are likely to have questions or want more information. This gives them time to prepare and seek out the information they need.
During the visit:
There are different ways that science has taught us help children cope with needle procedures.
Strategies for Youth 12+:
- Anxiety around needles is very common in this age group
- Avoid making them feel ashamed or embarrassed for their fear or anxiety (they desperately want to impress and care what others think about them – avoid comparisons such as “this is the same needle we use on babies” or “the 5-year-old we had earlier didn’t make this big of a deal”, etc.)
- Provide positive encouragement and praise
- A calm supportive, encouraging caregiver is best
- Use of active music listening, games on a phone or fidgeting object can be helpful during
Additional Resources for parents/caregivers: