Flu: vaccine, causes, treatment, and more

COVID-19

Will the flu vaccine protect me against Covid-19?

The flu vaccine won’t protect you against COVID-19. But it will help protect you against flu, which is an unpleasant and potentially serious infection that can cause complications leading to hospital admission, permanent disability or death. Helping to protect against flu is particularly important if Covid-19 is still circulating because people vulnerable to COVID-19 are also at risk of complications from flu.

Will I be safe when I go for the flu vaccine if Covid-19 is still around?

While Covid-19 is in circulation, providers of flu vaccination will have measures in place to keep you safe. Staff giving the vaccine will be wearing protective equipment to protect both you and themselves from the virus. Appointment times may also be scheduled to reduce numbers in the waiting area or you may be asked not to arrive early.

Should I wear a face covering when I go for my flu vaccine?

In line with government advice, please wear a face covering to your appointment. This can be a mask you have bought or made, a face covering worn for religious or cultural reasons (as long as they cover the mouth and nose) or a surgical mask you have been given because you are shielding. Guidance on how to wear and make a face mask, visit the .Gov website.

Why is the flu vaccine so important this year?

Covid-19 is still likely to be circulating during the flu season. This means it is more important than ever to have the flu vaccination. The flu vaccine is critical to help protect the general health of everyone in the UK, particularly those who are most at risk from both Covid-19 and flu.

Is flu related to Covid-19?

Flu and Covid-19 are both viruses that affect the respiratory system. They spread from person to person through droplets in the air and on hard surfaces. In both cases, it is possible to have the infection without having any symptoms. People in certain groups are at greater risk of complications from these viruses.

If I get flu, can I still get Covid-19?

Yes. The infections are caused by different viruses. So just because you get one, doesn’t mean you can’t get the other. And there have been cases of people getting both at the same time.

How do I know if I have flu or Covid-19?

Flu and Covid-19 can present with similar symptoms and the only way to be sure that you don’t have Covid-19 is to get tested by following the advice on the NHS website

I’ve had Covid-19. Is it safe for me to have the flu vaccine?

There is no immunological reason or evidence that it would be unsafe for those who have had Covid-19 infection to receive the flu vaccine, or that the flu vaccine would be less effective for these individuals. It is important to note that individuals who have had Covid-19 who are in the age groups and risk categories for whom flu vaccine is recommended are particularly vulnerable to the complications of flu and therefore helping to protect them through vaccination, is essential this season.

Does the flu vaccine make Covid-19 symptoms worse?

No. If you get Covid-19 and you have had a flu vaccination, your Covid-19 symptoms won’t be any worse. People vulnerable to Covid-19 are also at risk of complications from flu, which means that having the flu vaccine while Covid-19 is still circulating is important to protect your health.

Is there anything else I can do to protect myself?

We have all become much more aware about how viruses spread and the measures we can take to prevent infection. Flu spreads in a similar way to Covid-19, you can stop the spread of both viruses by: 

  • washing your hands frequently, 
  • covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze,
  • using a face covering on public transport and in public places – please refer to guidance here
  • throwing tissues away in the bin
  • using hand sanitizer if you don’t have access to soap and water.