As COVID-19 continues spreading, health officials urge you to get vaccinated against another common virus: the flu. Because of their similar symptoms, it may be hard to distinguish between the flu and COVID-19 without getting a test. This could force you or your family to quarantine unnecessarily while awaiting result.
How are symptoms of the flu similar to COVID-19 symptoms?
Both COVID-19 and flu can have varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from no symptoms to severe symptoms, according to the CDC:
|Flu and COVID-19|
- Fever or feeling feverish/chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle pain or body aches
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults
- Change in or loss of taste or smell
When should I get my flu shot?
The vaccine should be administered by the end of October, but vaccination should continue to be offered as long as influenza viruses are circulating locally and unexpired vaccine is available, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body.
Is the flu shot covered by health insurance?
The flu vaccine is required to be covered by health insurance, but a co-pay may apply depending on where you get it. Contact your doctor, health insurer or local pharmacy to learn more.