Typically fall marks the beginning of flu season and, thus, is the most common time of the year to receive the flu vaccine. However, this year you might be wondering if you even need to get a flu vaccine. It might seem as if all you hear about in the news anymore is COVID-19, and nothing about the flu itself. So, where did the flu go? And do you even need to worry about getting the flu this year?
Well, it’s still out there. We are just entering the beginning of flu season. And while the flu might be overshadowed in the news right now, it is still a real, potentially very serious disease that should be avoided if at all possible. The purpose for the flu vaccine is to reduce your risk of contracting a severe case of influenza (flu) and minimize the complications from it if you do contract it.
While you may have heard doctors say that getting the flu vaccine is important, you might still have a few lingering questions about it, particularly due to the fluidity in the medical world right now. Here at AllCare Medical Centers, we have put together a little article to help address some of your questions about the vaccine.
Flu and COVID-19 Vaccines
Speaking of vaccines, you might be wondering if it’s even safe to get the flu vaccine at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine. Yes! You can get both vaccines at the same time. And you can also get both viruses at the same time, which it is why it is so important to get your flu vaccine this year.
If you do happen to contract both influenza and COVID-19 at the same time, your risk of complications goes up substantially. Both diseases have similar complications—respiratory failure, pneumonia, kidney failure, sepsis, and other severe issues. In addition, COVID-19 complications also include blood clots within the veins and arteries in your heart, lungs, brain, and legs, along the risk of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome for children.
Getting a flu vaccine, along with a COVID-19 vaccine, will help lower your chance of experiencing these severe complications.
With the flu, people typically develop symptoms 1-4 days after being infected. Whereas for COVID-19, symptoms usually appear 3-5 days after being exposed to the virus but can develop as late as 14 days after infection.
The most common symptoms of influenza are cough, sore throat, fever, runny or stuffy nose, headache, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, and fatigue. With COVID-19, you can experience all of these symptoms as well, along with the loss of taste or smell, shortness of breath, and a variety of other possible symptoms.
Since the symptoms for both diseases can be so similar, it can be hard to know which virus you have contracted. Your doctor can test you for influenza or COVID-19 if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. In fact, your doctor might want to test you for both viruses at the same time just to be certain of what you are dealing with.
Both illnesses can be tested using nasal swabs, while COVID-19 can also be tested with a saliva sample or blood test. Flu tests with swabs are typically done at a doctor’s office. On the other hand, COVID-19 tests are done at a variety of places, even within the confines of your own home.
Get Your Vaccine Today
Here at AllCare Medical Centers, we are equipped and ready to help you as flu season ramps up in our area. Call us today to schedule your flu vaccine! Do not be fooled into thinking that the flu has magically disappeared! It is still lurking out there. Take action today to protect yourself from its potentially serious complications!