*Vaccine availability and administration capabilities vary by location and state regulation. Contact the Pharmacy for details.

The Flu & COVID-19

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Disease Incidence

Influenza (flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they’re caused by different viruses. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that influenza has resulted in 9-45 million illnesses and 12,000-61,000 deaths annually since 2010. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that coronavirus has resulted in over 163 million confirmed cases and more than 3 million deaths as of May 2021.

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The Importance of Vaccination

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses like flu is more important than ever. Vaccination against both flu and coronavirus is essential to meet public health needs, prevent further disease spread and protect vulnerable populations like the elderly, the immunocompromised and people not yet old enough to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

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Symptoms

Some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar. It may be hard to tell the difference based on symptoms alone, so testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis of upper respiratory illness. Symptoms of both flu and COVID-19 may include: fever, chills, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion, muscle aches, headaches and fatigue.**

Explore COVIDCare+**Information provided by the CDC. Not everyone with the flu or COVID-19 may have a fever.
**Information provided by the CDC. Not everyone with the flu or COVID-19 may have a fever.
A picture of a young man wearing a sanitary mask and checking his phone

Disease Incidence

Influenza (flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they’re caused by different viruses. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimate that influenza has resulted in 9-45 million illnesses and 12,000-61,000 deaths annually since 2010. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that coronavirus has resulted in over 163 million confirmed cases and more than 3 million deaths as of May 2021.

Schedule Your COVID-19 Vaccine
A picture of a practitioner placing a band aid on a patient’s arm

The Importance of Vaccination

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, reducing the spread of respiratory illnesses like flu is more important than ever. Vaccination against both flu and coronavirus is essential to meet public health needs, prevent further disease spread and protect vulnerable populations like the elderly, the immunocompromised and people not yet old enough to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Schedule Your COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

The following Frequently Asked Questions were created following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Influenza, better known simply as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat and sometimes the lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness and, at times, can even lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

    Older people, young children and people with certain health conditions are at higher risk for serious flu complications. If you do get the flu, being vaccinated may help reduce the severity of symptoms and risk for complications. This flu season, it is more important than ever to get a flu vaccine. The flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, but it will reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization and death, thereby helping conserve potentially scarce healthcare resources.

    People age 6 months and older are eligible to receive an annual seasonal flu vaccine, with rare exceptions that include those with allergies. Talk to your licensed healthcare provider to learn which type of flu vaccine is right for you.

    Getting the seasonal flu vaccine annually (once a year) is the best way to reduce your risk of catching the seasonal flu and spreading it to others. September and October are ideal months to get your flu shot.

    The CDC recommends injectable influenza vaccines. There is no preference for one flu vaccine over another as long as the vaccine is licensed and age appropriate.

    No. The flu shot contains inactivated virus, so you cannot get the flu from the vaccine.

    Yes, the COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines like influenza may be administered on the same day and at any interval without respect to timing.

The Flu & Your Immune System

Your immune system works together with the influenza vaccine to prevent or reduce any symptoms associated with the flu.

Support Your Immune System

Cold, Cough & Flu Medicine

Other Important Vaccines

Are you up to date on all your vaccines? While getting your flu vaccine, you can also get vaccinated for Tdap, pneumonia, shingles and more.

See Our Adult Vaccine Checklist

Tools & Resources

Why Should I Get the Flu Vaccine?

As cold and flu season approaches, one of the most important measures you can take to keep yourself and those around you protected is opting for an annual flu vaccine. The flu, also known as influenza, is a contagious respiratory illness that infects the nose, throat and sometimes lungs. Different from a cold, the flu usually comes on suddenly and can cause mild to severe illness. It can be transmitted before symptoms appear and individuals may continue to be contagious for up to 7 days after the initial onset.

The first and most important step in preventing the flu is getting a flu vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting a flu vaccine can reduce the risk of being admitted to the hospital with the flu by 37%, and of being admitted to the ICU by 82%. Getting the flu vaccine, also known as the influenza vaccine, is important for individuals of all ages as it reduces the severity of symptoms and risk of complications from the flu.

Should Children Get the Flu Vaccine?

The CDC estimates that in the United States over the last decade, between 7,000 and 28,000 children under the age of 5 have been hospitalized for flu related symptoms each year, and that young children are at higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications. Therefore, the CDC recommends everyone 6 months of age and older (with rare exceptions) should get an annual flu vaccine. Flu illness is more dangerous than the common cold for children. Each year, millions of children get sick with seasonal flu; thousands of children are hospitalized, and some children die from flu. Whether you’re a child, working-age adult or senior citizen, the need and benefit of the flu vaccine is clear. For more information about the flu and flu vaccines, check out our frequently asked questions above.

How Do I Schedule a Flu Vaccine?

You can schedule a flu vaccine for your kids or yourself online! To schedule an appointment, click here, state or zip code to find a location near you. Most insurance companies cover the cost of an annual vaccine. If you don’t have insurance, your flu vaccine cost may depend on the variety of vaccine and the location. Contact your local Pharmacy for any questions.

How Else Can I Prepare for Cold & Flu Season?

In addition to scheduling a flu vaccine for you and your family, it’s important to remember other everyday precautions you can take to stop the spread of germs, like washing your hands and avoiding touching your mouth, nose and eyes. Though you can take preventive actions to protect yourself and your family, it may not be possible to completely avoid getting sick. If you do catch a bug, stay away from others while contagious and cover your coughs and sneezes to help slow or prevent the spread of germs. To prepare for sneezing, scratchy throats and sleepless nights, stock up on medicine cabinet must-haves and comforting meals. Otherwise, continue to support your overall wellness with our immune support guide. For more health and wellness tips, visit our Health Services page. For information on other vaccines, pharmacy or healthcare services, visit our Pharmacy page.