An elderly woman gets a flu shot

Flu Season 2020

Give yourself one less thing to worry about during the 2020 Flu season and get the vaccine. Learn how to protect yourself.

2020 has thrown a lot at us – like, a lot.

COVID-19 introduced Canadians to physical distancing, masks, and large-scale remote work. At the same time, headlines warned of murder hornets and threats that feel as unique as the pandemic we’re living in.

We could all use #OneLessThing to worry about. So, protect yourself from the flu and pneumonia!

Why getting your flu shot is more important than ever

You’ve taken steps to protect yourself from COVID-19, but what about the flu? Here’s why seasonal flu vaccination is more important than ever.

  1. It’s a safe and effective way to protect your lungs. The flu shot is safe for almost everyone. It reduces your risk of developing flu by up to 60%. 
  2. It can help keep you out of the hospital. The flu shot reduces your risk of serious complications that could you land you in the hospital – which means less risk to you, and more care for Canadians fighting COVID-19.
  3. It gives you one less thing to worry about. You have more than enough going on right now, the flu and it’s potentially deadly complications don’t need to be concerns too. Someday, we’ll have a vaccine that protects us from COVID-19. Until then, let’s keep our lungs as healthy as possible.

Ready? Here’s where to get your flu shot!

The seasonal flu vaccine is now available in most regions across Canada. Visit myflushot.ca to sign up for alerts that will show you where to get vaccinated. 

There’s more than one vaccine available!

Speak to your healthcare provider about your vaccine options to ensure you’re receiving the best level of protection possible. If you’re over age 65,  or have a chronic lung condition, ask your healthcare provider how you can protect your lungs even more with a high-dose flu vaccine and the pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine. 

A full list of approved flu vaccines  – including innovations like non-egg, cell-based options  – is available at:

Flu vs. COVID-19

It’s just a little cough … or is it? There’s a lot of overlap between flu symptoms and COVID-19 symptoms, even though the illnesses are caused by totally different viruses. Add in the common cold, and you’ve got a whole trio of respiratory viruses lurking around this year. The only way to know if you have COVID-19 is to get a lab test.

Flu or False?

Can you tell the difference between flu facts and flu fictions? Take the quiz.

Prevention

Though the viral strains change from season-to-season, the seasonal flu vaccine has been around a long time. It’s proven to reduce doctor visits, hospitalizations and deaths related to the flu. It’s also safe (even for children and those who are pregnant or breastfeeding), and it’s widely accessible. The flu vaccine is your best defence against influenza.

There is currently no COVID-19 vaccine approved for use in Canada. You can follow the latest developments in the quest for COVID-19 vaccines through the World Health Organization.

When you’ll feel sick

If you get the flu, you’ll typically begin to feel sick around one-to-four days after infection. COVID-19 symptoms typically appear about five days after infection, but they can show up anywhere between one day and two weeks after infection! That’s why two weeks is the recommended self-isolation period for people who have been exposed to COVID-19.

Symptoms

Both illnesses can range from mild to severe with symptoms varying from person-to-person, and even appearing differently in various age groups.

SYMPTOMFLUCOVID-19COLD
Body achesCommonSometimesSometimes
CoughCommonCommonCommon
DiarrheaSometimesUncommonRare
FatigueCommonCommonSometimes
FeverCommonCommonRare
HeadachesCommonSometimesRare
Loss of taste or smellRareSometimesRare
Shortness of breathNeverCommonRare
SneezingUncommonRareCommon
Sore throatSometimesSometimesCommon
Nausea/vomiting (more common in children)SometimesUncommonRare
Runny/stuffy noseSometimesRareCommon
Itchy/watery eyesNeverRareNever

Give yourself #OneLessThing to worry about this flu season – get your flu shot.

Sources:
As we learn more about COVID-19, the symptoms associated with it may change. This list is current Oct.15, 2020 thanks to information from the World Health Organization and CDC. For a detailed breakdown of the frequency of symptoms, consult COVID-19 signs, symptoms and severity of disease: A clinician guide by Health Canada.

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