a dog helps frightened children

Covid19 vaccination: there is no greater fear than that of a little girl staring at the glitter of a hypodermic needle. And there’s no better fear remedy than Ollie, a 6-year-old therapy dog ​​who is helping children at San Diego’s Rady Children’s Hospital overcome vaccination-associated anxiety.

Pet Therapy against the fear of needles for vaccination against Covid19

Ollie and 14 other dogs from the PetSmart Paws for Hope Canine Therapy program have been helping children aged 5 to 11 since the Covid19 vaccination was approved for them as well. In the United States, adults who adhere to conspiracy theories are resisting the vaccination campaign while children are only afraid that the sting will hurt.

Fear of Covid19 vaccination: the work of Ollie and the other dogs in the hospital

“I just saw how many children were so scared. They wanted the vaccine but entering the door and thinking about the needle they start to cry. Then Ollie intervenes and sits next to them soothing them that they no longer need to be held in their arms. They were distracted by Ollie’s softness, ”said dog owner Kristin Gist, 75, a canine therapy volunteer and former hospital program director.

For children who face the needle in prize a photo with Ollie

“Ollie calmed them down when they were waiting for the injection and during the vaccination they knew that once they did, showing me the patch they would get a picture of Ollie in return,” Gist said again. On a recent Reuters visit to the vaccine center at Rady Children’s Hospital, waiting for a vaccine made a 9-year-old cry, but then Ollie walked in and sat at his feet. The child’s mother then took a picture of her with the dog and the trauma passed quickly.

Dogs in the ward: the benefits of pet therapy in the hospital

Before the vaccine, dogs already had jobs that cheered patients admitted to the children’s hospital, many of whom were battling cancer or other insidious diseases that can weaken the morale of patients, their parents, and hospital staff. When COVID restrictions hit early last year, around 20,000 annual dog visits stopped. They started over about three months ago.

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Bored children with no dogs in the ward

“There was not anything. It was silent. The children were bored, ”said Carlos Delgado, a spokesman for the hospital. “So thank God we were able to start bringing the program back with the dogs in the aisles. Even a three-minute visit with a dog makes a difference for the day ”.

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