Flu Shot During COVID-19: What You Need to Know

Doctor giving flu shot to patient in face mask

The flu season is here, and the COVID-19 pandemic is still wreaking havoc in the country. The cumulative COVID-19 cases to date in Orange County have just surpassed 78,553, and US deaths have just passed 2,68,000. Keeping these numbers in mind, health officials have been emphasizing that it is more crucial than ever to get a flu shot this year. From taking vitamin supplements to undergoing dietary changes and taking immunity boosters, people have been following all kinds of precautions to shield themselves from the virus. However, doctors have been also stressing the importance of getting a flu shot to safeguard yourself from the viral infection and lower the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Here is everything you need to know about getting a flu shot during COVID-19.

Why Flu Vaccination is Even More Important This Year

The Coronavirus pandemic has already burdened the healthcare system. Hospitals and emergency rooms are crowded beyond their capacity. Even though influenza (the flu) is a different respiratory virus than COVID, a surge in flu cases and the resulting need for hospitalization will only make the situation worse. According to the CDC, there are 140,000 – 810,000 influenza hospitalizations annually in the US since 2010. If these numbers are to repeat this year as well, imagine the burden it would place on the health system.

Studies also show that it is possible to test positive for influenza and COVID-19 at the same time. If this happens, it will be very difficult for your immune system to fight both the viruses at once. It will put you at risk for severe complications such as lung damage, other prolonged illnesses, or even death.

Will the 2020 Flu Shot Help Fight the Coronavirus?

There is a possibility that flu patients may be more susceptible to contracting COVID-19. Getting a flu shot will help your body make antibodies that combat certain influenza strains, reducing the risk of flu by almost 50%. While a flu vaccine cannot prevent COVID-19, it can help your body stay stronger by reducing the odds of getting seriously ill with the flu, so it can better fight off a coronavirus infection if it has to.

How Do I Know If I Have a Flu or COVID-19? Can I Get Both at the Same Time?

COVID-19 and the flu share a host of symptoms such as cough, fever, and sore throat, the incubation period is similar at roughly 3-5 days. According to experts, it is possible to get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. Since both are respiratory viruses, having one illness could make you susceptible to developing the other. Also, once you are infected with the flu or any other respiratory virus, it weakens your immune system, thereby making you more vulnerable to get a second infection.

Is It a Good Idea to Give My Child Flu Shot Amidst COVID-19?

With schools reopening and the COVID-19 pandemic still looming across the country, children will be exposed at large. With the presence of COVID-19, even if your child develops flu symptoms, they will have to miss their classes and go into quarantine. To prevent such a situation, it is best to get your child a flu shot this year for their overall safety. Doctors recommend getting your child vaccinated by the end of October. Children aged 6 months through 8 years who have never received a flu vaccination before, will need 2 doses, administered at least 4 weeks apart. Children aged 9 and above, and children who have had one or more doses of the seasonal influenza vaccine in the past, will only need one dose.

What Flu Shot Dose Is Recommended for Seniors This Year?

Seniors are at high risk of developing severe influenza complications, making it imperative for them to get a flu shot this year. If you are aged 65 years or above and looking to get a flu shot, doctors may recommend a flu vaccination designed specifically for seniors, such as High-Dose Flu Vaccine or Adjuvanted Flu Vaccine. Both these vaccines are designed to augment the immune system response in seniors, thereby reducing infection risk.

I am Young and Healthy. Do I Still Need a Flu Shot?

Regardless of your age and how healthy you are, it is important to get a flu shot. Being young and healthy does not guarantee protection against influenza. Flu is a respiratory virus that comes abruptly and can cause mild to serious complications in people of all age groups. Getting a flu shot will not only safeguard you from influenza and its complications but will also prevent you from spreading the flu to those around you who are more vulnerable.

What Is the Best Time to Get a Flu Shot?

The flu season in the United States usually reaches its peak between December and February. To be best prepared, health officials recommend getting a flu shot during September and October. Getting the flu shot earlier than September might have lesser value since the shot's effectiveness can decrease over time. Those who haven't got vaccinated, it's not too late for them yet. They can get vaccinated even now, to decrease their chances of not contracting the flu virus.

Where Can I Get a Flu Shot This Year?

Owing to the Coronavirus exposure risk, and in compliance with social distancing and other precautionary measures, places such as schools, churches, and workplaces may not be able to offer shots this year. You can book an appointment with your healthcare provider or head to a pharmacy or urgent care center near you. You can stop by at our urgent care clinic to get your flu vaccination. Keeping your safety as our topmost priority, our center has all preparations for COVID-19 prevention in place.

Schedule Your Flu Shot Appointment at Our Urgent Care Locations in Orange County, CA:

Irvine Woodbridge Walk-In Urgent Care: Click Here

Fountain Valley Urgent Care: Click Here

Costa Mesa Urgent Care: Click Here

 

Category: Flu season

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Family Care Centers Medical Group

Family Care Centers Medical Group has provided quality primary care and urgent care services to the residents of Orange County since 1982. Our team of experienced and dedicated healthcare professionals is committed to providing exceptional medical care in a caring and compassionate environment. At our urgent care centers at Irvine, Fountain Valley, and Costa Mesa, we offer immediate attention to minor medical emergencies, including cuts, bruises, scrapes, sprains, strains, broken bones, sore throats, flu, and workplace injuries. Our primary care doctors at Irvine, Fountain Valley, and Costa Mesa centers are ready to take care of all your primary healthcare needs, like the flu shot, physical examination, and treatment for acute or chronic illnesses.

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