Getting a Flu Vaccine During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Female patient with protective face mask waiting for vaccination, doctor in surgical gloves disinfecting her arm

This year there are more questions than usual surrounding the flu vaccine. Please read carefully to ensure you have all the information you need. Flu vaccines are available at MainStreet Family Care beginning Monday, September 14th. Please use our contactless registration system to pre-register for your flu vaccine.

When is the best time to get a flu vaccine?

There is no change in the CDC’s recommendation on the timing of the flu vaccination this season. September and October are good times to get vaccinated.

Will there be changes in how and where the flu vaccine is given?

MainStreet Family Care is now offering the flu vaccine as of Monday, September 14th. We ask that patients use the contactless registration system so that they can wait in their vehicles until it is their turn to receive their vaccination. To learn more about our contactless registration system, please click here. All 17 MainStreet Family Care locations will have the vaccine available.

Will there be a short supply of the flu vaccine this year?

Because a record number of flu vaccine doses are being manufactured this year, the time to produce and distribute them will be longer. It is also expected that more people will be getting flu vaccines this year compared to prior flu seasons. MainStreet will provide flu vaccines to patients as long as they are available. We suggest getting your flu vaccine as soon as possible.

What is the difference between Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19?

Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and COVID-19 and flu testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis. Flu and COVID-19 share many characteristics, but there are some key differences between the two.

Will there be flu along with COVID-19 in the fall and winter?

While it’s not possible to say with certainty what will happen in the fall and winter, the CDC believes it’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading. Therefore, getting a flu vaccine will be more important than ever. CDC recommends that all people 6 months and older get a yearly flu vaccine.

Can I have flu and COVID-19 at the same time?

According to the CDC, yes. It is possible to have flu, as well as other respiratory illnesses, and COVID-19 at the same time. Health experts are still studying how common this can be.

Since some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Diagnostic testing can help determine if you are sick with the flu or COVID-19. Please ask your provider any questions you may have when you visit the clinic.

Is COVID-19 more dangerous than flu?

Flu and COVID-19 can both result in serious illness, including illness resulting in hospitalization or death. While there is still much to learn about COVID-19, at this time, it does seem as if COVID-19 is more deadly than seasonal influenza; however, it is too early to draw any conclusions from the current data. This may change as we learn more about the number of people who are infected who have mild illnesses.

Will a flu vaccine protect me against COVID-19?

Getting a flu vaccine will not protect against COVID-19. However, flu vaccination has many other important benefits. Flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death. Getting a flu vaccine this fall will be more important than ever, not only to reduce your risk from flu but also to help conserve potentially scarce health care resources.

Does a flu vaccination increase your risk of getting COVID-19?

There is no evidence that getting a flu vaccination increases your risk of getting sick from a coronavirus, like the one that causes COVID-19.

If coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is spreading in my community, should I still go out to get a flu vaccine?

Yes. Getting a flu shot is an essential part of protecting your health and your family’s health this season. To protect your health when getting a flu vaccine, follow CDC’s recommendations for running essential errands and doctor visits. Continue to take everyday preventive actions.

How can I safely get a flu vaccine if COVID-19 is spreading in my community?

Find more information on spreading out your vaccinations and precautions to take when getting your flu vaccine here. When going to get a flu vaccine, practice everyday preventive actions, and follow CDC recommendations for running essential errands.

If I am at high risk for serious illness from COVID-19 or flu, where is the safest place for me to get a flu shot?

You can safely get a flu shot at MainStreet Family Care. Our contactless registration makes it easy for you to pre-register for your flu shot. You will only come into the clinic when it is your turn to be seen.

Vaccination of people at high risk for flu complications is especially important to decrease their risk of severe flu illness. Many people at higher risk from flu also seem to be at higher risk from COVID-19. If you are at high risk, it is especially important for you to get a flu vaccine this year.

I don’t have a primary care provider, where can I get a flu vaccine?

Anyone can come to MainStreet Family Care to get a flu vaccine. We accept most insurance, Medicaid, and we have a simple self-pay option so you can get a flu shot even without insurance.