Young woman wearing protective face mask showing arm with 'Got vaccinated' sticker on at MD Now

COVID-19 & Flu Vaccines: What you need to know to get you through flu season

This winter, it’ll be flu vs COVID-19 in a battle over which nasty respiratory illness can cause more havoc. You might be thinking, “Does the flu still exist?” Unfortunately, it does, and although COVID-19 is often worse, the flu is still a major headache. 

Staying healthy involves more than knowing the difference between cold, flu, and COVID-19. We need to guard against all viruses with everything we’ve got. 

Sorting Out Susceptibility: Do I Need a Flu Shot?

Are you wondering, “Do I need a flu shot?” It’s smart for everyone to get a flu vaccine each year. It’s especially important if you are susceptible to illnesses or in a high-risk category. So, who’s prone to getting the flu? Let’s take a look at attack rates, which show what percentage of a group catches the flu during a certain time frame. 

The Kiddos

Young people are more than twice as likely to develop symptoms from a flu infection than adults over the age of 65. The rate of infection for children 17 and under is 9.3 percent. 

The Grown Ups

Adults between the ages of 18 and 64 have an attack rate of 8.8 percent. Most of us in this age range are working, which usually means spending time in public and close proximity to other people. Getting the flu shot will lower the odds of having to call out sick, and you’ll protect others at the same time. 

The Elderly

We’ve all spent the last couple years worried about COVID-19 harming our elderly loved ones. Flu vs COVID-19 can affect the elderly differently. People 65 and older are the least likely to contract influenza, with an attack rate of 3.9 percent. Of course, this doesn’t mean they’re immune to harm from the illness. 

Complications from the Flu

Stats can be misleading. Yes, grandma and grandpa are less likely to catch the flu, but that does not mean they are completely in the clear. Unfortunately, if they do catch the flu, they are more likely to have serious complications. Between 70 and 85 percent of flu deaths occur in people 65 and older. If you or someone you love is in this group, it’s time to look up, “flu shots near me.” 

Wait a Minute… Isn’t the Flu Gone?

You might be thinking that you haven’t heard much about the flu lately. That’s because all the safety protocols taken to prevent transmission of COVID-19, like masking and lockdowns, helped reduce last season’s flu rates. Now, we’re all getting back out there, which means this season could be worse. According to the CDC, the flu season could complicate our efforts fighting COVID-19.

Other medical experts are worried as well. “We’re going to have this sort of ‘twin-demic’,” says Richard Webby, a flu expert at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “The concern with that is that it’s going to put extra strain on an already strained healthcare system.”

If you need another reason to get the flu shot, here’s a tidbit for you: Those who get sick with both the flu and COVID-19 are more than twice as likely to face a deadly consequence. Getting vaccinated is your first line of defense to preventing an internal flu vs. COVID-19 battle, so get your flu shot today!

Getting Your Vaccinations: Flu vs Covid-19

If you’re looking to plan the best time to get vaccinated, it’s good to know that the benefits are the same whether you get your flu and COVID-19 vaccines together or separately. 

“We have a history of vaccinating our kids with multiple vaccines,” says Webby. 

You should cancel a vaccination appointment if you start feeling sick beforehand. In that case, get a COVID-19 test instead. Figuring out the difference between cold, flu, and COVID-19 can help keep everyone safe.

Flu Shots Near Me: Where can I find a clinic near me?

Getting the COVID-19 or seasonal flu vaccine is quick and easy. Walk-in to any of the 55+ MD Now physician-led clinics and get vaccinated today. We offer both the flu vaccine and the J&J/Janssen single dose vaccine while supplies last. 

For more information, check out our website or visit your local MD Now, today! 

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