Q: I heard the flu shot makes you more susceptible to getting COVID. Is that true?
No. There is no evidence that the flu vaccine weakens your immune system and increases your risk of getting sick from coronavirus, like the one that causes COVID-19. A recent study of 13,000 people who tested positive for COVID-19 this spring found no difference between people who had a flu shot and those who did not. And, the CDC has now issued special guidance advising people that the flu shot doesn’t increase your risk of COVID-19.
Doctors and health officials are strongly recommending that everyone get a flu shot this year to help prevent a double pandemic of COVID and influenza. Getting a flu shot can help you rule out the flu and identify your illness as COVID-19 if you do get sick. It can also help you avoid having to go to the doctor’s office or hospital while the pandemic is still active. Also, don’t forget that influenza can be a severe illness on its own, so it’s always a good idea to protect yourself.
The bottom line is, while there’s not yet a vaccine for COVID, there is one for influenza, and we recommend that you get it.
Employee Health Manager, Maui Health