Fighting the Flu Starts With You
  • PHN Patient Flu Guide

 

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Fighting the Flu Starts With You!

 

As we continue to make progress in the fight against COVID-19, we in the medical field are preparing for another virus that puts strain on the healthcare system every year – the seasonal flu (influenza). Like COVID-19, the flu is a viral respiratory illness that unfortunately leads to thousands of hospitalizations and deaths. There is, however, an extremely important step you can take to protect yourself from the flu – getting a flu shot.

Below are a few facts about the flu shot:

  • The flu vaccine is safe and effective.
  • It is recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older.
  • It is needed every year, as the vaccine changes based on active flu strains.
  • You will not get the flu from getting the flu shot. Mild side effects may occur, which is your body’s way of building antibodies against the virus.

How do I prevent the flu?

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting your flu shot each year. Here are some other steps you can take to prevent the flu:

  • Wash your hands often with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds.
  • Use hand sanitizer when handwashing isn’t an option.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth (until you’ve washed your hands).
  • Avoid crowds and close contact with those who are sick.

Should I wait to get the flu shot until the flu is more widespread in my community?

No. You should not wait for flu activity to be rising to get your flu shot. September and October are generally good times to be vaccinated. While flu activity may be low in your community now, it could begin increasing at any time. Remember, after you are vaccinated, your body takes about two weeks to develop antibodies that protect against flu.


What is the difference between the flu and COVID-19?

The flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and seasonal flu (most often just called “flu”) is caused by infection with one of many influenza viruses that spread annually among people.


Can I have the flu and COVID-19 at the same time?

The flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and seasonal flu (most often just called “flu”) is caused by infection with one of many influenza viruses that spread annually among people.


Will the flu shot protect me against COVID-19?

Flu vaccines are not designed to protect against COVID-19. Flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness, hospitalization and death in addition to other important benefits. Equally, the COVID-19 vaccine is the best protection against COVID-19, but those vaccines are not designed to protect against flu.


Can I get the flu shot if I suspect I have COVID-19?

No. Flu vaccination should be delayed for people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, until they have met the criteria to discontinue their isolation. When scheduling or confirming appointments for flu vaccination, patients should notify our health center in advance if they currently have or have developed any symptoms of COVID-19.


For additional resources on the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit our COVID Vaccine Information page.


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