For over a year, we’ve dealt with all of the uncertainties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. And now we’re faced with something new: COVID-19 vaccines.

If you’re unsure about these brand-new vaccines, you’re not alone. There is safety data that’s available, but if you’re struggling to make a decision about getting vaccinated, here is a reminder:

Your Feelings are Valid
Many people are concerned about the safety of the vaccines because they were developed in such a short time frame. Not only that, but the state of the pandemic changes daily and recommendations from officials vary as well, so it’s understandable to feel hesitant about the vaccine. (Click here for information about vaccine safety.)

It’s OK if you’re frustrated, confused, or worried—new decisions are being made every day, decisions that you might not agree with, which can make you feel like your health and opinions don’t matter.

So, What Can You Do?
Here are a few tips to help manage your anxiety and stress:

  • Do your research. Fear often develops because of what is unknown. Consider what is worrying you, whether it’s the side effects, how decisions are being made, or uncertainty about how the vaccine works, and make sure you’re informed. The CDC’s vaccines page is a great starting point. Also keep yourself up to date as more progress is made with the vaccines and distribution. Check out this vaccine tracker.
  • Look towards authorities you trust. The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are reputable COVID-19 sources. Find reliable, factual information from individuals or organizations you respect.
  • Weigh the risks and benefits. Under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), known and potential benefits must outweigh the known and potential risks before vaccine approval. The COVID-19 vaccines will allow your body to develop immunity to the coronavirus so that you’re able to naturally fight against it. Check out the other benefits of vaccination here.
  • Make decisions in your best interest. If the anxiety surrounding vaccination is too much for you, it’s OK to step away from it all for a bit. Take time to assess your feelings and go over this list again before making a long-term decision. Overwhelmed? Not sure what to do? Reach out to a mental health professional.

We’ve all been in the throes of tension, anxiety, and worry for quite some time now, and deciding whether or not to get vaccinated seems to be the next big stressor. Make sure you consider your holistic wellness as you continue to decide what’s best for you.