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FAQs: The Flu and COVID-19

FFF FAQ
Posted on January 13, 2021

There is a lot of information floating around about COVID-19 and we are all doing our best to stay informed and safe. We want to help cut through the noise and provide you with reliable information to help you and your family stay safe this year.

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions on our Facebook and Twitter communities:

Why do I need a flu shot when COVID-19 is my real concern?

There are a variety of different reasons why getting your flu shot should be a top priority this season. Firstly, contracting the flu can make you more susceptible to other illnesses, such as COVID-19. It is also a possibility that you could contract both viruses at the same time.

doctor visits reduce 40-60% with flu vaccinationWe all need to do everything we can to avoid overburdening our hospitals and healthcare workers. We can each play a role in decreasing the spread of the flu by getting an annual flu vaccination. Flu vaccination can reduce the need for doctor’s visits by 40% to 60%.

Sometimes flu seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are a good predictor for what can be expected in the Northern Hemisphere. Why worry about the flu if it wasn’t an issue in the Southern Hemisphere this year?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported a decline in the spread of flu after the COVID-19 emergency declaration was followed by widespread school closures, social distancing, and mask wearing. We see that steps taken to prevent COVID-19 exposure have also reduced flu exposure. However, as the pandemic continues it is important to continue following CDC flu and COVID-19 guidelines – including annual flu vaccination – to protect yourself.

Why do I need a flu vaccine if I am wearing masks?

Taking precautions like wearing a mask and social distancing can help protect you and others from respiratory viruses, including flu and COVID-19, but the best way to prevent the flu is for everyone 6 months and older to be vaccinated each year. When you get vaccinated, you are protecting yourself as well as other members in your community who cannot get vaccinated – like newborn babies, people with compromised immune systems from cancer or other illness, and the elderly. For example, the risk of complications for children is far higher for the flu than COVID-19. During the 2019-2020 flu season, 195 children died of flu-related complications. While flu activity may be low in your community now, flu seasons are unpredictable and can last until May.

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