Reactions that arise from anxiety related to Covid-19 immunization/vaccination will certainly disrupt the vaccination process for the surrounding people. People who are prone to be attacked by anxiety have the potential to be distracted by vaccination process. Stress caused by anxiety that they have before or after the vaccination process. This will surely give impacts on the vaccination process itself, health workers, hospitals and also the community. Of course, anxiety that arises during the vaccination process must be overcome with various strategies in association with psychiatry.

Psychiatry Specialist Medical Education Study Program, Faculty of Medicine, Diponegoro University on (16/4) conducted an online seminar to provide information about anxiety and how to overcome it, as well as strategies for health workers to deal with anxiety or fear experienced by vaccine recipients. This online seminar moderated by dr. Fanti Saktini, M.Sc.Med. who is a member of Specialist Doctor Education Program of Psychiatry Faculty of Medicine UNDIP. Materials related to anxiety response related to vaccination was delivered by lecturer of Biochemistry Psychiatry Faculty of Medicine UNDIP, dr. Innawati Jusup, M.Kes., Sp.KJ. Meanwhile, materials about management of anxiety related to vaccination was delivered by dr. Tanjung Ayu Sumekar, M.Si.Med., Sp.KJ. The online seminar is divided into two sessions, namely session 1 by dr. Innawati and session 2 by dr. Tanjung Ayu. These two sessions are followed by questions and answers discussion then closed with a group photo.

Delivered by dr. Innawati Jusup, stress occurs because of a problem in the sufferer. In this case, problems can be caused by Covid-19 vaccination. Vaccination itself is considered as a good thing because it is an effort to prevent the spread of Covid-19 virus so that many people flock to get vaccinated as soon as possible. However, in some people who have various anxiety, such as the problems that may be occurred during the vaccination process will have a big impact. This anxiety is influenced by physical, psychological and social factors. For example, the elderly in Indonesia actually respond very well and are eager to receive the vaccine as soon as possible. However, there are also many families who disagree with consequences of vaccines so it will bring impacts on their elderly families.

Vasovagal or people with anxiety susceptibility is a person whose Vagus Nerve provokes anxiety and causes a condition in certain parts of body since it is related to the emotions of that person. Stress conditions can be undetected by someone who experiences them, but the body responds to this sensitive condition by showing symptoms such as changes in pulse / blood pressure. Supports from people around will be very helpful. Forming positive thoughts will also give calming and comfortable effects so that the person will forget about their anxious thoughts.

dr. Innawati said, stress can cause fever because it is affected by a mind filled with excessive anxiety which lowers the body’s immunity. To avoid this, keep your body in good condition before getting vaccinated by consuming nutritious foods and getting adequate rest, as well as calm your mind so that your body’s immune system is ready when you receive the vaccine. An acute stress response can lead to a pale face, fast heartbeat, sweating, nausea, dizziness and other neurological symptoms. Therefore, the examination before undergoing vaccination is very necessary. Several things that can be asked as an interaction are examining psychological factors, biological factors, copying factors of symptom presentation, trigger factors and dissociative neurological factors.

What if anxiety has already occurred in vaccine recipients? dr. Tanjung Ayu Sumekar, a lecturer at Faculty of Medicine Diponegoro University, in her presentation said that good handling and strategies are needed to deal with vaccine recipients who have anxiety or fear and are vulnerable during the vaccination process. Anxiety usually arises because of questions filled the minds of vaccine recipients. These questions that have not found definite answers cause sensitive and stressful conditions that affect the decision-making of a person in receiving vaccine.

Health workers are advised to remain calm when they find that vaccine recipients are vulnerable to anxiety or stress. Awareness of ISSR (Immunization Stress Related Responses) and training can be done so that health workers can detect, prevent and respond to such conditions in the field as much as possible. The awareness that ISSR can be overcome and prevented is also an effort so that vaccination can run optimally. ISSR is divided into two parts, namely Peri-immunization and Post-immunization. These two conditions have different effects.

Anxiety or fear before the injection can cause vaccine recipients to faint. In responding to this, the family / companion of the vaccine recipient should provide actions in the form of escorting them to a separate room, providing a comfortable place to lie down, observing and monitoring until they become conscious. The great fear of needles also creates problems. In the short term it will cause vaccination procedure takes longer time, fainting, pain and anxiety. Meanwhile, in the long term it can cause fear to refusal to be vaccinated. A person who has a peri-immunization condition will usually experience a post-immunizaion condition after a few days of vaccination. The body will become uncomfortable and there will be repeated anxiety. The conditions experienced are usually in the form of dissociative neurological conditions, such as tingling, numbness, feeling weak and so on, but when they are checked by doctors, there is no symptoms of particular diseases.

dr. Tanjung Ayu Sumekar said that dealing with anxiety is better than avoiding it. Some tips for dealing with anxiety include getting accurate information related to vaccinations from hospitals and health workers. Collecting data from reliable sources about vaccinations will help the mind reduces anxiety. Discuss your concerns with someone you trust. By discussing and sharing with others, we can reduce our self-anxiety and make better decisions. Avoid generalizing the fear of Covid-19 with the fear of vaccination. Increase self-motivation to get vaccinated. Encourage yourself with the desire for the pandemic to end soon so that the desire to be vaccinated will be even higher.

Before vaccination, keep the mind by being calm, friendly and confident. Communication and identification of self can cause high-risk problems to vaccine recipients, such as having anxiety disorders, developmental disorders and unpleasant experiences. Use screening questions to determine how much anxiety experienced by vaccine recipients. Using neutral words, such as providing related facts to make the vaccine recipients feel calm, giving vaccine recipients the option of having an injection in the left / right arm or talking about topics that can distract them. You can also stretch your body to relax your muscles and mind. Treat the vaccine recipients personally such as giving the vaccine privately, giving choices during the procedure and giving praise when the process is completed.

Hopefully this seminar about anxiety related to vaccination and how to prevent it, its detection and response can be useful and help both health workers, vaccine recipients and the community so that the vaccination program in Indonesia can run smoothly and evenly. (Diska-PR)

Translated by: Titis (Public Relations)