Getting your Flu shot could be more Important than ever as COVID-19 is still spreading

Getting your Flu shot could be more Important than ever as COVID-19 is still spreading

During this pandemic, the last thing we need is to start an outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles and seasonal flu on top of COVID-19.  CDC recommends that all people 6 months and older get a yearly flu vaccine.  While it’s not possible to say with certainty what will happen in the fall and winter, CDC identified it is likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading. Getting your flu shot can reduce your flu risk and help conserve potentially scarce health care resources.  

What is the difference between Influenza (flu) and COVID-19? Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses. They are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses. 

To understand more about influenza viruses https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/viruses/index.htm.

It is possible to have flu, other respiratory illnesses, and COVID-19 at the same time.   

Symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them so testing may be needed to help confirm whether you have the flu or COVID-19. Testing can help determine if you are sick with flu or COVID-19.  COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than flu and causes more serious illnesses in some people. 

It can also take longer before people show symptoms and people can be contagious for longer. While more is learned every day, there is still a lot that is unknown about COVID-19 and the virus that causes it. To compare COVID-19 and flu, given available information to date https://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms/flu-vs-covid19.htm

To learn more about COVID-19 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html 

To learn more about flu https://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm

Flu and COVID-19 can both result in serious illness, including illness resulting in hospitalization or death. 

While there is still much to learn about COVID-19, CDC reports COVID-19 at this time is more deadly than seasonal influenza. Getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, however, flu vaccination has important benefits.   

Flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization and death. 

Influenza vaccination is important, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, 

For many often at higher risk for COVID-19, protecting them from influenza is important to decrease their risk of co-infection. 

We do know that people can be infected with flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 at the same time. 

Check with your clinic for current COVID-19 guidance and to ensure all vaccines are up to date, including seasonal flu. Also, they may have different procedures and practices for evaluating and treating flu during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For updates see: https://aihc-wa.com/pulling-together-for-wellness/immunizations/

Contact Information: Jan Ward Olmstead, janolmstead@gmail.com and Wendy Stevens, ws.aihc@gmail.com

 

Tribal/Urban Indian Health Immunization Coalition

FOR THE HEALTH OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE TODAY, TOMORROW AND INTO THE FUTURE

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