With the pandemic still in full swing, health officials are advising people to make a flu vaccine a top priority this year. Flu activity typically peaks between December and February, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but flu activity can last as late as May. Experts are warning of a “twindemic,” or the overlap of flu season and COVID-19 when hospitals and medical professionals can be overwhelmed with sick people.
Although it has yet to be peer-reviewed, a June 2020 study found that people with COVID-19 who had received a recent flu vaccine were 8% less likely to need intensive care treatment than those who hadn’t received a vaccine. They were 18% less likely to need a ventilator and 17% less likely to die.
Both Flu and Covid are caused by a similar virus. One big difference is that COVID-19 symptoms may include loss of taste or smell. Because symptoms are so similar, experts say it’s important to reach out to your doctor or get tested if you are sick.
Takeaway: The CDC recommends you get vaccinated by the end of October. September and October are typically the best months for full seasonal coverage. The CDC recommends that nearly everyone 6 months old and up should get a flu vaccine, with few exceptions. Because some vaccines are made using chicken eggs, people with egg allergies have often avoided the vaccine. The CDC says that people with mild or moderate egg allergies can get any flu vaccine that is otherwise appropriate for their age and health.