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Home > Health & Wellness > Protect Yourself from Illness > The Importance of Flu Shots During Flu Season & COVID-19
As we near the fall and winter seasons, we know the potential for respiratory illness increases. This year more than ever, it is critical that we adhere strictly to the precautions that have shown to minimize exposure to respiratory illnesses, particularly COVID-19 and the flu. Please carefully read the information below as we refocus our efforts on limiting the spread of the flu and COVID-19, which remains prevalent in our community.
We must ALL commit to preventing the spread of the flu, and the flu vaccination is essential in helping to reduce the overall effect of respiratory illnesses on ourselves and others. As such, annual flu vaccination is recommended for everyone six months of age and older.
It’s vitally important to continue to receive your routine vaccinations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccinations help reduce the severity of your respiratory illnesses and protect those most at risk for severe illness.
If you experience symptoms of the flu or COVID-19, call your doctor. They may recommend an appointment either in person or via a video visit. They may also recommend testing for COVID-19. Because it can be difficult to distinguish between flu and COVID-19 symptoms, it’s best to be safe and seek medical advice.
COVID-19 and flu can have varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe symptoms. Similarities between the flu and COVID-19 can include: fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. The main difference in symptoms is that COVID-19 may include a change in or loss of taste or smell.
The flu shot won't protect you from developing COVID-19, but it's still a good idea to get one. Most people older than six months can and should get the flu vaccine. Doing so reduces the chances of getting seasonal flu.
Postpone your flu vaccination if you have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 – regardless of whether you have symptoms – until you meet the criteria to discontinue your isolation. Vaccination visits should be postponed to avoid exposing healthcare workers and others to the virus that causes COVID-19.
Meanwhile, remember to mask up, practice good hand hygiene, socially distance and monitor your health. Stay home if you’re not feeling well. Specifically, an easy and effective way to prevent the spread of these illnesses is, as you know, wearing a mask. Now is the time to recommit ourselves to this simple practice both within our work environments and in the community!