After a fairly mild flu season last year, rates of influenza are predicted to increase significantly this year since fewer people will have been exposed to it and developed natural immunity.1
That makes getting your flu vaccination especially important this year, to protect older adults who are more susceptible to both the flu and COVID-19.
People with chronic health conditions or a weakened immune system are at greater risk of becoming severely ill if they develop COVID-19 or influenza2 Learn more here.
Being vaccinated against flu appears to reduce the risks of some COVID-19-related complications, such as stroke, blood clots (deep vein thrombosis) and sepsis, a rapid chain reaction triggered by an infection that can be life-threatening.3
Is it flu or is it COVID-19?
These two contagious respiratory infections share many of the same symptoms — fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, headache, fatigue, and muscle pain. Key differences that distinguish COVID-19 are the loss of sense of smell or ability to taste.4
Do your part to fight the flu
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) notes that everyone over the age of 6 months should receive the flu vaccine every year between October and December. This is especially important for individuals who have a heart or lung condition or are in contact with vulnerable or elderly individuals.3
2. Researchers report 21% COVID-19 co-infection rate https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/04/researchers-report-21-covid-19-co-infection-rate
4. Similarities and differences between flu and COVID-19 https://healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed/postings/2020/07/flu-coronavirus.php
6. Similarities and differences between flu and COVID-19 https://healthcare.utah.edu/healthfeed/postings/2020/07/flu-coronavirus.php
7. Researchers report 21% COVID-19 co-infection rate https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/04/researchers-report-21-covid-19-co-infection-rate
8. Flu vaccine prevented about 60 percent of cases in Canada this season: study https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/flu-vaccine-prevented-about-60-per-cent-of-cases-in-canada-this-season-study-1.4821183
9. Flu shot more important than ever during COVID-19 pandemic, expert says https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/flu-shot-more-important-than-ever-during-covid-19-pandemic-expert-says-1.5062695
10. Frequently Asked Influenza (Flu) Questions: 2020-2021 Season https://www.cdc.gov/flu/season/faq-flu-season-2020-2021.htm
11. Five Facts You Should Know About Pneumonia https://www.lung.org/lung-health-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/pneumonia/five-facts-you-should-know
12. Pneumococcal conjugate 13-valent vaccine (Prevnar®13) for adults with high-risk medical conditions: Q&A for health care providers http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/public/programs/immunization/docs/pcv_hcp_qa_en.pdf
13. Testing, tracing, and distancing key to prevent COVID-19 resurgence, new models show https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/testing-tracing-and-distancing-key-to-prevent-covid-19-resurgence-new-models-show-1.5058979