WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn — Because COVID-19 and the flu will both be spreading throughout the country in a few weeks, getting the flu vaccine this year is more important than ever, according to doctors at NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull.
To spread the message, they hosted a free flu shot and COVID-19 testing drive Tuesday.
Woodhull Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Edward Fishkin said many people who are at higher risk from the flu also seem to be a higher risk for COVID-19.
Doctors said when you’re vaccinated, you may still contract the flu, but it will be a milder illness, and you will have a reduced risk of complications even if you are a high-risk individual.
Both the flu and COVID-19 are contagious respiratory illnesses.
However, they are caused by different viruses.
COVID-19 is caused by the new coronavirus called “SARSCoV-2”.
The flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses.
The symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 begin similarly with fever, cough and shortness of breath.
The flu often causes severe headaches; COVID-19 less so. Both may cause extreme tiredness, or diarrhea.
It may be hard to tell the difference between them, just based on the symptoms alone.
Testing is needed to make the right diagnosis.
Getting the flu vaccine will reduce the risk of getting the flu and reduce the risks of any flu-related complications such as bacterial pneumonia, respiratory failure requiring hospitalization and death.