Wondering when to get your flu shot? The best time is before influenza (flu) starts circulating widely.
For most people, September or October is ideal for protection through the whole flu season, as the immune response from the vaccine wanes over time. And while changes and restrictions due to COVID-19 may make getting a flu vaccine less convenient for some this year, the pandemic makes it more important than ever.
Why is it especially important to get the flu vaccine this year?
Measures that help protect us against COVID-19 — such as distancing, wearing face coverings, and washing hands often — may also decrease the spread of flu. Yet it’s more important than ever to get vaccinated. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused shortages of hospital beds, ICU beds, and ventilators even outside of flu season. During flu season, when both the flu and COVID-19 will be circulating, hospitals may again face shortages, limiting their ability to care for people who are seriously ill with the flu, COVID-19, or both.
People can get COVID-19 and the flu at the same time. A recent study showed people who had COVID-19 and influenza B were sicker than those who had COVID-19 alone.
Also, COVID-19 and flu have similar symptoms like fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, and coughs. So people who get the flu may need to be tested for COVID-19, and then quarantine until they get the test result. This could mean more days out of work. It could also lead to testing shortages.Original Source