It’s that time of year again when we all need to make sure we get our flu shot. One question many people have is whether they should still get the flu shot if they already had a COVID-19 vaccine in the past. The answer: YES!
What Is The Flu?
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that can infect the nose, throat, and sometimes lungs.
Unfortunately, it can cause mild to severe illnesses, which may sometimes lead to death if it goes untreated or doesn’t resolve within two weeks after the onset of symptoms.
The most effective way to avoid getting the flu is by receiving a vaccine each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone six months of age or older receive at least one dose, but those aged 18-49 years old require two doses.
Specifically, getting the vaccine can protect you from the seasonal flu and potential outbreaks caused by novel strains like H7N9. Unfortunately, these strains can spread quickly among people not infected yet.
Each year, the flu vaccine prevents about 3 million cases of influenza illness and 100,000 hospitalizations in adults. It is also known to reduce absenteeism from work or school due to chronic illnesses such as seasonal vomiting disease (including SARS) and bronchitis/respiratory infections during the winter months.
What Is COVID-19?
The COVID-19 virus is an infection that can cause what doctors call a respiratory tract disorder.
Specifically, it affects your upper or lower airways, leading to mild illness in some people. Moreover, others develop serious complications, including death, if not treated quickly enough with antibiotics by medical professionals.
SARS CoV2 is one such virus that spreads through person-to-person contact, just like other types of coronaviruses such as MERS or SARI. Although there are different strands of COVID-19, SARS CoV2 is only one of seven types of coronaviruses.
Now that we have gone over what the flu and COVID-19 are, let’s look at why you still need a flu vaccine even if you have a COVID-19 vaccine:
They Protect You Differently
There are a few reasons why getting the flu shot is vital, even if you have had a COVID-19 vaccine. First, the two vaccines are different. Specifically, the flu vaccine protects against various strains of the flu virus, while the COVID-19 vaccine protects you against only one strain of the virus.
You Can Still Get The Flu
Second, just because you’ve had a COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t mean you can’t still get the flu. In fact, some people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine have still gotten sick with the flu.
Getting the flu shot helps build your immunity to all strains of the flu virus, which can help make it more difficult for you to become infected with COVID-19 in the future.
Receiving both vaccines simultaneously may offer additional protection against COVID-19 and greater protection against potential outbreaks.
Why It’s Important
So why is it essential to get a flu shot even if you’ve had a COVID-19 vaccine? Well, for one thing, getting vaccinated helps protect other people around you who may be at risk of getting the flu.
Additionally, both vaccines are available through PCP For Life. While there is no guarantee that either vaccine will completely protect you from contracting either virus, having both vaccines gives you a much higher chance of remaining healthy this season.
Moreover, the flu shot is also important for people who are in high-risk groups, such as pregnant women and those who may have chronic health conditions. The COVID-19 vaccine is not yet available to everyone, so it is important to get the flu shot while you still can.
In essence, getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to help protect yourself and your loved ones from getting sick during the flu season.
If you are looking to get the flu shot or COVID-19 vaccine, you have come to the right place. PCP For Life can provide you with both vaccines so that you and your family can stay safe during the winter months. To learn more about how you can get a vaccine or to schedule an appointment, call us today at 281-968-4096.