COVID-19 Resource Center

Flu Vaccine: What You Need to Know

Between 410,000 – 740,000 people are hospitalized with flu and 20,000 – 60,000 deaths from the flu each year in the United States (CDC). The combination of SARS-CoV-2 and flu is expected to double the number of patients in the hospital; 20% of patients had both SARS-CoV-2 and flu in 2019. It is very important to get your flu vaccine to prevent getting COVID-19 with the flu, to decrease the stress on hospital systems and to protect yourself. 

  • Almost everyone over 6 months old should be vaccinated. (Harvard Health Publishing, 2020)
  • Adults 65 years old or older should consider a high dose vaccine
  • Goal: 70% of adults vaccinated (Department of Health and Human Services )
  • The flu vaccine does not give you the flu
  • The flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19
  • The flu shot will help protect you from complications of the flu and reduce the burden on US health system
  • The flu vaccine decreases the severity of flu symptoms and reduces hospitalizations even though it does not protect you from flu all of the time and the effectiveness of the vaccine varies from year to year
  • Serious flu shot side effects are rare; the most common side effects are soreness at the site of the injection and /or headache
  • People that have had COVID-19 should get the flu vaccine once recovered
  • Continue to wear masks
  • Wash hands frequently and use hand sanitizer
  • Stay apart from others to reduce the risk of spreading or getting a virus
  • CDC (2020). Get Your Community Ready. Interim Guidance for COVID-19.
  • CDC (2020). 2020-2021 Influenza Vaccination Recommendations and Clinical Guidance during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • Harvard Health Publishing (2020). As coronavirus spreads, many questions and some answers.
  • JHSPH (2020). Enhancing Public Trust and Health with COVID-19 Vaccination.
  • Singer, B. (2020). COVID-19 and the next influenza season. Science Advances, May 29, 2020: eabd0086 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd0086
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