Is the HPV Vaccine Always a Shot? I'm Scared of Needles!

I'm scared of needles after I got my blood taken once and they couldn't find my veins. Do I have to get the HPV vaccine done with a needle?
Tasha*

After your experience, it's understandable that you're nervous about anything to do with needles. Usually, having blood taken isn't as bad as the experience you had.

Getting a shot is even easier than a blood draw. A shot is over much faster, and the procedure is a lot simpler because the needle doesn't need to go into a vein. Medical professionals who give lots of shots get really good at it. Even though it feels like a pinch, it doesn't hurt for long.

The HPV vaccine is only available as a shot. But there are ways you can feel more comfortable when getting the shot.

Naturally, it's tempting to skip shots. But resist that temptation! Vaccines help prevent serious illnesses that can be much worse than getting a shot.

So take a deep breath and think of your HPV shot as a way to overcome a fear. (Giving in to a fear can reinforce that fear and make it stronger.) Challenge yourself to face your fear — and give yourself a reward afterward.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: April 2010

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