2021 Flu FAQ for Patients | NYC Health + Hospitals

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2021 Flu FAQ for Patients

2021 Flu FAQ for Patients

The Flu Vaccine Is as Important as Ever!

The COVID-19 pandemic and flu season occurring together can make these coming months more challenging than ever. Get your flu vaccine early, before the flu begins spreading in the community.

This year, you can get a flu vaccine at the same time and same place as the COVID-19 vaccines with no out-of-pocket cost to you.

Why is it so important to get a flu vaccine this year?

  • It is possible to get both the flu and COVID-19.
  • Flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related doctor’s visits each year. During 2019-2020, flu vaccination prevented an estimated 7.5 million influenza illnesses, 3.7 million influenza-associated medical visits, 105,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations and 6,300 influenza-associated deaths.
  • Flu vaccines will not prevent COVID-19, but they will reduce the added burden of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths in our community and the health care system.

Who should get a flu vaccine?

All New Yorkers should get a flu vaccine, but especially:*

  • All New Yorkers 6 months of age and older
  • Adults over 50 years old
  • Pregnant and post-partum individuals
  • Nursing home residents and staff
  • People with medical conditions like diabetes, asthma, HIV, kidney and heart disease
  • All essential workers, especially health care workers

What is the best way to protect yourself and others from the flu and other respiratory illnesses?

  • Get the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Routinely wash or sanitize your hands thoroughly.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Practice respiratory etiquette — cover your cough and sneezes.
  • Wear a mask when appropriate, and make sure it covers your mouth and nose.
  • If you feel ill, stay home, and reach out to your primary provider or talk to an emergency-trained virtual ExpressCare provider by visiting ExpressCare.nyc or calling 631-397-2273.
  • Get a COVID-19 test — it is free, safe and confidential.

Can you receive the flu vaccine at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. You can receive the flu vaccine at the same time as all other vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccines.

The Flu and COVID-19 — Know the Facts

INFLUENZA (FLU)

COVID-19

BOTH

  • A respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus
  • People can be contagious for seven days
  • Can be treated with FDA approved medicine that targets the flu virus
  • Can be prevented and made less severe with the flu vaccine
  • A respiratory infection caused by a coronavirus, called SARS-CoV-2
  • More contagious than the flu
  • Symptoms can develop between 2-14 days
  • May cause multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children
  • May cause long-term side effects, called “Long COVID,” which can include a range of symptoms that can last for weeks or months after infection
  • Can be treated with FDA approved or authorized medication
  • Can be prevented and made less severe with the COVID-19 vaccine
  • Contagious respiratory diseases spread between people who are in close contact with one another
  • Spread by large and small particles from coughing, sneezing or talking and inhaled into the lungs
  • People can be contagious, even without symptoms
  • Overlapping symptoms include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fatigue, sore throat, runny and stuffy nose, muscle pain, body aches, headache, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Complications: pneumonia, respiratory distress, respiratory failure, sepsis and cardiac distress
  • Prevented by vaccination, respiratory etiquette and face coverings

Flu vaccines are safe, quick and available at no out-of-pocket cost to patients who are vaccinated at one of our dedicated vaccination locations. Get your flu vaccine today! Visit nychealthandhospitals.org or call 1-844-NYC-4NYC (1-844-692-4692) to find a location near you.

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