Can A Flu Shot Give You Added Protection Against Covid-19?
This is traditionally the time of year many people go to get their flu shots--even pre-Covid. This year, especially, people who've never had a flu shot are considering doing so, as the pandemic continues and we're seeing a surge of the coronavirus run rampant.
Thankfully, we're reading encouraging headlines about the progress made in procuring a truly helpful Covid-19 vaccine. As we wait to see how Governor Abbott and other state leaders roll out their distribution plans, many are anxiously waiting and wondering if the regular flu shot will protect them from contracting Covid-19.
The short answer is: No. But. A recent report from Consumer Reports reveals that although the flu shot "won't protect you against Covid-19 [...], a flu shot will cut your risk of getting the flu." (Obviously.) But here's why that matters:
We're going to be dealing with a season during which we'll see an overlap of circulating flu and Covid-19. Erica Shenoy, M.D. and associate chief of infection control at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston says "avoiding the flu will help hospitals keep more beds and ventilators available for people with serious cases of Covid-19."
In addition, CR reports some research looks to suggest that "those who get a flu shot are less likely to experience serious complications" from the virus. As you and I know by now, that could mean the difference between life and death, in the worst cases.
So while the flu shot doesn't make you immune to Covid-19, it could mean you'd have less serious symptoms if you were to contract it. AND it means you could be helping your friends and family have access to the medical care and resources they need to get better that they wouldn't have had otherwise.