Your health is top priority, and you need to ensure that you and your loved ones stay protected as we enter cold and flu season during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will spread this fall and winter. Healthcare systems could be overwhelmed treating both patients with flu and patients with COVID-19. This means that getting a flu vaccine during the 2020-21 season is more important than ever.
Now is the time to receive your annual flu vaccine and reduce your chance of getting the flu and spreading it to others. You can get a flu shot from your care provider or at most major pharmacies.
Key facts about the flu vaccine:
- It is recommended once a year and is covered by most health plans.
- It does not give you the flu.
- It reduces the likelihood of getting the flu and severe complications of pneumonia.
In addition to the flu, the common cold also makes an appearance this time of year, and distinguishing between the two can be challenging. The symptoms are often similar, and seeking the proper course of treatment in a timely manner is vital to your health. The presence of the coronavirus complicates the scenario even further, especially since it carries a much higher risk to your health and safety.
Download: Understanding the Flu (PDF)
Tests are available to diagnose the flu and COVID-19, and if you can rule those two out, it may be just a common cold you're dealing with. Because symptoms of the cold, the flu and COVID-19 may look the same, it is important to call your doctor if you need treatment. The chart below offers a helpful comparison of common characteristics of each.