Employees of the Red Cross see everything passing by at the injection points: from people who get an allergic reaction to people who become unwell. “We have recently seen more people who faint after their vaccination,” Lotte Maathuis of the Red Cross told EditieNL. “You would expect this to happen sooner in the elderly, but who sees many young people who pass out.” The Red Cross has no national figures for the number of incidents. In the Jaarbeurs in Utrecht alone 150 people fainted in a week.
It also happened to Niels Rooze (23) from Waalwijk. Because he has a fear of punctures, he already saw the mood coming. “It happened when I got my first injection (Pfizer). I had already indicated to the GGD that I have a fear of injections and it was quite busy when I arrived,” he tells EditieNL. When Niels saw how different people were poked for him, he didn’t feel quite well. “It made me dizzy. Luckily I didn’t feel anything from my own injection, but when I had to wait in that chair for 15 minutes, everything became blurry.”
Niels indicated to the Red Cross employees that he was not feeling well. “But I was already sinking. I woke up on a first aid bed.” He sat there for about twenty minutes. “I got some water and they asked if I had eaten well. I had.”
That is also one of the tips that the Red Cross wants to give to everyone with the fear of fainting. “It’s important to eat and drink right, especially in the morning.” If you have eaten too little, your blood pressure can be low, making it easier to pass out. “It is also important to take the weather into account. If it is a hot day, you can check whether it is not your turn during the hottest part of the day and possibly reschedule your appointment. Your blood pressure goes down with the heat, then more people pass out.”
water and sugar
People who faint are taken care of by the employees and given some water and sugar so that the blood pressure rises again. “Fainting is quite harmless. It takes a while to recover and take some water and sugar. We try to prevent it by paying close attention to the symptoms.”
Because of what has happened, Niels is even more afraid of needles. “I even doubted whether I would get the next shot, but I would like to do it anyway.”