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Get your (flu) shots, people

Tuesday, Sep 21, 2021

* And wear your masks. From IDPH…

Every season the flu sickens millions of people in the U.S., hospitalizes hundreds of thousands, and kills tens of thousands. This season, in addition to flu, the state continues to battle COVID-19. More than 41 million cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. have been reported, including more than 1.5 million in Illinois. More than 660,00 COVID-19 deaths have been reported in the U.S. with more than 24,400 deaths reported in Illinois.

“Because of the effectiveness of masking in preventing virus transmission, we saw fewer flu-related ICU hospital admissions in Illinois and no flu-related pediatric deaths,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “However, with inconsistent mask usage, we could see a more severe flu season along with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Now is the time to get your flu shot. Flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time if you haven’t already gotten your COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines are our best protection against severe illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths due to either flu or COVID-19.”

Everyone six months of age and older is recommended to get the seasonal flu vaccine. All flu vaccines this season are quadrivalent, meaning they will offer protection against four flu strains – an H1N1-like strain, H3N2-like strain, and two B strains. More information on the types of flu vaccine, as well as recommendations by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, can be found on the CDC website.

Many of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are the same, but there are some differences. Flu usually comes on more suddenly, a person with COVID-19 can be contagious for a longer period of time compared to flu, and COVID-19 seems to cause more severe illnesses in some people overall. If you have symptoms of either flu or COVID-19, self-isolate and contact a health care provider who can talk with you about testing and other measures you should be taking.

Both COVID-19 and flu can have varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe symptoms. Common symptoms that COVID-19 and flu share include:

    • Fever or feeling feverish/having chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue (tiredness)
    • Sore throat
    • Runny or stuffy nose
    • Muscle pain or body aches
    • Headache
    • Vomiting and diarrhea
    • Change in or loss of taste or smell, although this is more frequent with COVID-19.

In addition to getting your flu and COVID-19 vaccine, IDPH recommends staying home when sick, wearing a mask, and frequently washing your hands. These everyday health practices will help protect against becoming infected with either flu or COVID-19 viruses.

Influenza antiviral drugs can be a second line of defense for people who get sick with the flu. Many studies have found that in addition to lessening the duration and severity of symptoms, antiviral drugs can prevent flu complications.

To find a location to get a flu shot in your community, check with your health care provider, local health department, and area pharmacies. More information about influenza can be found on the IDPH website at www.dph.illinois.gov. More information about COVID-19 can be found at www.dph.illinois.gov/covid19.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

14 Comments
  1. - Amalia - Tuesday, Sep 21, 21 @ 11:44 am:

    Important to note that flu vaccine and covid vaccine can be taken at the same time. this is not true of, for example, the Shingles vax. imagine if you get both the flu and covid. terrifying. the flu is not fun. it can kill. covid is deadly. double vax and mask.


  2. - ??? - Tuesday, Sep 21, 21 @ 11:46 am:

    Does anyone know if the State is offering flu shot clinics for state employees this year?


  3. - NonAFSCMEStateEmployeeFromChatham - Tuesday, Sep 21, 21 @ 11:50 am:

    ==Does anyone know if the State is offering flu shot clinics for state employees this year?==

    I wouldn’t be surprised if due to Delta they’re not. So I already got mine via the Sangamon County Health Department yesterday. Easy in and out.


  4. - Nick Name - Tuesday, Sep 21, 21 @ 11:58 am:

    Got mine already!


  5. - 32nd Ward Roscoe Village - Tuesday, Sep 21, 21 @ 12:23 pm:

    Just got mine a hour ago!


  6. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Sep 21, 21 @ 12:25 pm:

    Got mine along with the second shingles vaccine shot last week.


  7. - Anotheretiree - Tuesday, Sep 21, 21 @ 12:38 pm:

    -Amalia- I recall there being a warning back in the Spring about not having other vaccines within 15(?) days of Covid vaccine. Wasn’t aware that restriction had been withdrawn.


  8. - Manchester - Tuesday, Sep 21, 21 @ 1:11 pm:

    Got mine last week at my annual wellness exam with my Doctor.


  9. - Huh? - Tuesday, Sep 21, 21 @ 1:27 pm:

    IDOT is having flu shot clinics on 9/28 & 10/28, 9am to 12pm at the Hanley Bldg, 2300 S. Dirksen, Springfield. Teamster health insurance is eligible for coverage this year.


  10. - Jabes - Tuesday, Sep 21, 21 @ 1:38 pm:

    Got mine at the Lakeview Festival of the Arts in Chicago. The local Walgreens sets up a booth in the fair every year. Couldn’t be more convenient!


  11. - Now I’m down in it. - Tuesday, Sep 21, 21 @ 1:46 pm:

    I’m getting mine this week. I’ve not ever had a flu shot. What better time than now? Like Amalia said, flu and covid simultaneously would be hell on earth.


  12. - Seats - Tuesday, Sep 21, 21 @ 4:22 pm:

    The local health department is where I normally get mine, they haven’t got any doses in yet. Might just go to my local CVS if they dont get it in by the next week.


  13. - Huh? - Tuesday, Sep 21, 21 @ 4:49 pm:

    News reports indicate that covid has killed as many people than the Spanish flu.

    https://www.livescience.com/covid-19-killed-as-many-americans-1918-flu-pandemic


  14. - Must win - Tuesday, Sep 21, 21 @ 5:50 pm:

    Pritzker needs to make covid and flu shots mandatory for all.


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