Quebec vaccine clinic uses virtual reality to distract kids from fear of COVID-19 shots – CBC

Virtual reality video games help distract children, lower anxiety, vaccine director says

Dec 19, 2021

As she lined up for her first COVID-19 vaccine shot at a Laval, Que., vaccination centre, six-year-old Lea Strazza was a little apprehensive.

“I’m feeling nervous,” she said, standing with her mother, Sandy Strazza. “I’m scared because it hurts a little bit.”

With children ages five to 11 now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines across Canada, those nerves are common for a lot of children getting their shots.

The vaccination centre in Laval has revamped its site to make it more child-friendly and help put younger patients at ease.

Along with a therapy dog, colourful balloons and a huge inflatable slide, children also have the option of putting on a virtual reality headset to play a game while getting their shot.

“They totally forget the vaccine,” said Isabelle Parent, vaccination director for Laval’s health authority. “We can vaccinate them, and they say at the end, ‘I never felt it.'”

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