How Should I Prepare for Flu Season During COVID-19?

Influenza vaccination is the most effective measure to protect against the seasonal flu. While many people get the flu shot each year, there’s a large portion of the population that is at risk for influenza infection because they do not get vaccinated. Getting the flu shot during the COVID-19 pandemic is particularly important at a time when the healthcare system is already burdened. How should you prepare for the flu season during COVID-19? Here’s what you should know.

When to Get the Flu Shot

The question shouldn’t be whether or not to get the flu shot because you should get it every year. When should you get it? That’s an important question. The ideal time to get the flu shot is early during the flu season, September, or early October. Getting vaccinated too early can reduce its effectiveness and leave you unprotected. It takes two weeks for the flu vaccine to take effect after it’s administered, whereby the body produces antibodies that provide immunity against the strain of influenza virus that is circulating. Elderly people, 65 and over, in particular, risk reduced protection against the flu if they get their flu shot too early. The flu season can extend to January or later, and you can still get your flu shot later even if you missed the early period that is typically recommended. 

Is it Possible to Get the Flu and Other Respiratory Illnesses and COVID-19 at the Same Time?

The current pandemic may have you thinking about the possibility of contracting the flu, other respiratory illnesses, and COVID-19 at the same time. Is it possible? Absolutely. However, the likelihood of it happening appears low. The occurrence of this type of coinfection is currently unknown, but researchers are trying to determine how common it may be. The flu and COVID-19 share some symptoms, such as fever, fatigue, and headache, and this may lead to an incorrect diagnosis. Accurate diagnosis between the flu and COVID-19 can be achieved through diagnostic testing.

The Flu Vaccination Will Not Provide Any Protection Against COVID-19

The flu vaccine is meant to only provide immunity against the influenza viruses. It cannot be used to vaccinate against COVID-19 and related illnesses. If you’ve already been vaccinated, the flu shot can be beneficial in helping your doctor to make a determination regarding a correct diagnosis, if you’re exposed to COVID-19 and showing symptoms of the illness.

Walk-In Flu Shots in Cheltenham, PA

Make sure that you are prepared to face the flu season. Get your flu shot and visit AFC Urgent Care Cheltenham for COVID-19 antibody testing or COVID-19 diagnostic testing. We deliver timely results and quality care for our patients. For patients who are apprehensive about leaving their homes, we also offer telemedicine screenings for patients who want to go over their symptoms with a physician before visiting our center. For questions, please call 215-935-6777.