• Alysa Salzberg

Are some vaccines more painful than others?

Have you ever noticed that some shots seem to hurt more than others? It turns out this is due to non-viral ingredients that help the vaccine work.


Or, if you’re like me and absolutely terrified of needles, it may simply be that you couldn’t get over your case of nerves the day you got that particular shot. As your doctor has probably told you, if you tense up when you get an injection, it will be painful, and the area around the injection site will hurt afterwards.


While the first reason for painful shots can’t be changed, there are ways to help with the second one, including using numbing gel on the injection site (pro tip for those of us who are extra needle-phobic: even if you know you won’t feel it, still look away when you’re getting the shot).


Read on to learn more about why some vaccines hurt more than others, including the painful ingredients you might find in certain ones, as well as strategies for making it easier to get a shot.


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