Facts about the Flu Vaccine and COVID-19

by | Jan 28, 2021 | Blog, COVID19

The race toward a vaccine for COVID-19 continues as many clinical trials are in the end stages of testing. While the wait for the COVID-19 vaccine continues, experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Mayo Clinic are urging people to get vaccinated for another infectious disease: influenza, or as it is most commonly known, the flu. These experts point out that while there have been questions about whether the flu vaccine could affect the effectiveness of a potential COVID-19 vaccine, Dr. Gregory Poland, a Mayo Clinic vaccine expert, says that there is absolutely no scientific evidence this would happen. Instead, he points out that we do have evidence that the flu alone sickens tens of millions of people in the U.S. every year, hospitalizes hundreds of thousands and kills tens of thousands.

Two studies of more than 20,000 people conclude that being infected with COVID and the flu at the same time doubled the death rate. So, getting your flu vaccine is important on many levels. Dr. Poland says that getting the flu shot appears to lower – not increase – the death rate of people who get simultaneously infected. It decreases symptoms. It decreases the demand on the medical system. It decreases the anxiety somebody is naturally going to have in the midst of this pandemic.

Some individuals incorrectly believe that the flu vaccine can actually give a person the flu or COVID-19. Absolutely not. The flu vaccine can’t give a person the flu. It also doesn’t increase your risk of getting COVID-19. While the flu vaccine does not protect people from getting COVID-19, it is especially important to get the flu vaccine this year because the flu and COVID-19 cause similar symptoms. Flu vaccination could reduce symptoms that might be confused with those caused by COVID-19. Preventing the flu and reducing the severity of flu illness and hospitalizations could also reduce the number of people needing to stay in the hospital.

Doctors agree: getting vaccinated for the flu and getting vaccinated as early as possible is an important, safe and effective thing everybody can and should do. The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months get vaccinated for the flu each year and older adults are an extremely important target group.

For a listing of where flu shots are available in our community, please contact: ADRC at
(920) 448-4300 or www.adrcofbrowncounty.org

Adapted from materials from Mayo Clinic website.
Current as of 12/2020

Additional Information & Support

We are here to help you and your family with a wide variety of community resource options. For assistance by phone, or to make an appointment, contact us.

(920) 448-4300 | WI Relay 711

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