Will the COVID-19 vaccine protect me against influenza (the flu)?

COVID-19 and influenza are two different viruses that cause two different illnesses. COVID-19 vaccines are designed to best protect you against the COVID-19 virus while the influenza vaccine is designed to best protect you against the flu. The COVID-19 vaccine is not designed to protect you against the flu.

There was hardly any flu last year so why should I get my flu shot this year?

According to experts and based on trends in the past, it is likely that this upcoming flu season might be much stronger and more widespread than the last one. The population’s overall immunity to the flu has declined over the COVID-19 pandemic because of lack of exposure to the latest flu strains. This means that more people might be at risk of getting the influenza virus when it returns. In the past there has been a strong increase in cases after a low outbreak season. Since distancing measures are being lifted, people are returning to offices, schools, public transit, restaurants, etc. This could mean a more widespread influenza outbreak and more severe flu epidemic and put our healthcare systems under significant pressure. In order to protect yourself from influenza, make sure you get your flu shot this year.

Can influenza trigger other non-respiratory illnesses?

Although influenza is primarily considered a respiratory infection, additional evidence suggests that influenza is associated with broader health complications. In fact, influenza can trigger severe cardiovascular complications. In the days following an influenza infection, the risk of heart attack, in otherwise healthy adults, aged 40+, increases more than 10 times while the risk of a stroke increases more than 8 times.

Could I get the COVID vaccine/booster (3rd dose) and the Influenza vaccine this year?

According to CDC and National Advisory Committee on Immunization you can get your COVID-19 vaccine, including the booster (3rd dose) and the flu vaccine at the same time.

If you have any concerns about getting COVID-19 and the flu vaccine at the same time, you should speak with your healthcare provider.



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