Yes! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that nearly everyone age 6 months and older get a flu vaccine each year.

While it’s important to get your flu shot in any year, it’s especially important this year, since the flu season and the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to collide. Read on as our team at AFC Urgent Care Farragut offers some insight on how to protect yourself.

Isn’t COVID-19 the Flu?

No, COVID-19 isn’t a type of flu. It’s a form of the coronavirus, a set of viruses that cause respiratory infections. While COVID-19 can cause similar symptoms to the flu, they aren’t the same.

They’re both contagious respiratory illnesses, but are caused by entirely different viruses. If you have COVID-19, it may take longer for symptoms to emerge, whereas the flu typically develops within one to four days of exposure.

Flu Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Fatigue

When Should I Get My Flu Shot?

As we mentioned above, the flu season typically begins in November. For that reason, the CDC recommends getting your flu vaccine by the end of October.

This gives ample time for your body to build up antibodies against the flu after receiving the vaccine. If you’re in good health, you can go ahead and get your flu shot when you’re ready, but if you’re at a higher risk or have a compromised immune system, you may want to wait a couple weeks to ensure the shot provides protection throughout the flu season.

How to Prevent the Flu

  • Get your flu shot on an annual basis.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
  • Disinfect commonly touched surfaces and objects regularly.
  • Wear a mask for COVID-19 prevention, which will also minimize your risk of the flu.
  • Practice healthy lifestyle habits to boost your immune system.

AFC Urgent Care Farragut is your one-stop-shop for your flu vaccination needs! Stop by or schedule an appointment at your convenience.