Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to do everything possible to reduce the spread of influenza by getting a flu shot. Consumer Reports says there are ways to do it safely.
Because there isn’t an approved vaccine against COVID-19 yet, health experts are recommending with even more urgency than usual that people get a flu shot this season. It won’t reduce your risk of getting COVID-19, but it will cut your risk of getting the flu. And even if you do get the flu, you’re less likely to become very sick or need to be hospitalized after getting a flu shot.
Health experts indicate that diagnostic testing can help determine if you’re sick with the flu or COVID-19. Even if your flu test is positive, that doesn’t rule out the possibility that you could be infected with COVID-19 simultaneously.
The flu shot takes about two weeks to become fully effective, and you want to be protected before the season begins to ramp up. It’s the same for your kids. If they’re 6 months of age or older, they should get a flu shot sooner rather than later.
You can get a flu shot at your local pharmacy in just a few minutes. Doctor’s offices and health clinics are doing various things to make sure that getting a flu shot there is safe, too. There might be drive-up clinics or special hours just for flu shots. But be sure to call ahead.
If you experience any symptoms of a respiratory virus, don’t hesitate to call your doctor. And if you have a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, get your doctor’s okay before you get a flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people who could still potentially transmit COVID-19 wait until they’re no longer contagious before seeking out a flu vaccine.