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Should I get a flu vaccine this season? How is it different from COVID-19?

There are many benefits of getting a flu vaccine this season, especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Although the flu vaccine does not protect from COVID-19, there are many benefits to getting a flu vaccine such as:

  • Flu vaccination reduces the risk of getting the seasonal flu and hospitalization caused by the flu.
  • It can preserve healthcare resources for patients with COVID-19.

The flu and COVID-19 are both contagious, respiratory illnesses. However, they are caused by different viruses. Although symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 may be similar, they also have important differences:

  • COVID-19 appears to spread more easily than the flu.
  • Additionally, it may take longer for people infected with COVID-19 to show symptoms and they may be contagious longer.
  • Importantly, there is a readily available vaccine to prevent the flu. For COVID-19, there are  vaccines that have been granted Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA which will be made available to the general U.S. public at a date yet to be announced. The best way to prevent infection is by avoiding exposure.

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This article was written and edited by the Tayo editorial desk and has been reviewed by an independent panel of subject matter experts.

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