Getting a flu shot during the COVID-19 era: Here’s what you need to know
Canadians are about to face yet another challenge in the COVID-19 pandemic: the arrival of flu season.
Hoping to avoid what some have termed a “twindemic” — an influx of people becoming ill as influenza and the new coronavirus circulate at the same time — health experts say it’s more important than ever to get the flu shot.
“If you haven’t received the vaccine in previous years, this is the year to get it,” said Dr. Danuta Skowronski, an infectious disease expert specializing in influenza and emerging respiratory illnesses at the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.
Anticipating an increased demand for the flu shot, the provinces and territories have collectively ordered 22 per cent more doses of the vaccine (13.7 million) compared to the amount ordered by the same time last year (11.2 million), according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
“This is the highest order ever placed in Canada for seasonal influenza vaccine,” the agency said in an email to CBC News.
Here, experts weigh in on some questions you may have about getting a flu shot during the pandemic.
No, the flu shot won’t protect you from COVID-19. But it’s important to protect yourself from influenza for several reasons, experts say.
Flu often takes an enormous toll on the health-care system, so it’s vital that people do what they can to reduce their chances of getting it. Otherwise, hospitals and health-care facilities could become overwhelmed if they need to treat both flu and COVID-19 patients.
There is an “overlap” in the people who are at especially high risk of critical illness from influenza and from COVID-19, Skowronski said, including seniors and people with underlying health conditions.
“It is particularly important this year that those with high-risk conditions receive the influenza vaccine so that we are not utilizing critical hospital beds for influenza that could be used for those with COVID, [where] there is currently no vaccine,” she said.
Getting a flu vaccine could also help reduce “unnecessary testing” for COVID-19, Skowronski said, because several symptoms of both illnesses are similar. – CBC
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We are washing our hands all the time. We are limiting the number of people allowed to gather indoors. We are required to wear a mask when inside public spaces. We are required to remain at least 2m away from everyone. No handshakes. No hugging. People are working from home. People should stay home if ill. Public spaces are sanitized over and over every day. Then there is the whole school thing.
Now our health overlord is recommending that people wear masks when engaging in sex.
Sooo, just how is an influenza virus going to infect anyone? Seriously? Its a virus. Exactly the same as COVID-19. Its transmitted in exactly the same ways as COVID-19.
I cannot believe that there will be any flu infections at all. If there are, then there should be COVID-19 infections as well. When you shut down the COVID-19, you are also shutting down the flu and the common cold. Maybe some ‘expert’ can explain why this is not the fact?
Could it be more about keeping those vaccine billions pouring into the pockets of the manufacturers of the flu vaccines?