Managing the COVID-19 and the Flu Season in Chicago

As we head into another flu season, we must also be aware that COVID-19 is still a threat to ourselves, our families, and communities. A flu shot and an updated COVID-19 vaccine is our best defense to keep ourselves and those around us healthy throughout the winter months.

What are the benefits of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and/or flu shot?

When you get vaccinated, it can help you from getting seriously sick. It may also help protect the people around you. People who have had COVID-19 still benefit from getting an updated vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines combined with daily preventative actions will offer the best protection from COVID-19.

The flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related doctor’s visits which could lead to missed days of work and school. According to the CDC, during 2019-2020, the last flu season prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, flu vaccination prevented an estimated 7.5 million influenza illnesses and 3.7 million influenza-associated medical visits.

Is it safe to get the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?

Yes, it is safe for an individual to receive their flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine at the same visit if you are due for both vaccines.

Who should get the flu vaccine? 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone six months of age or older should get a flu shot once a year. It is especially important for people at high risk for flu complications, such as children, pregnant women and older adults. Patients over the age of 65 are recommended to receive the Quadrivalent vaccine to ensure a better response.

Who should get the updated COVID-19 vaccine?

An updated monovalent mRNA Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is now available for eligible individuals aged five and older, at least two months after their last dose of any COVID-19 vaccine.

Individuals six months thru four years of age who have previously been vaccinated against COVID-19 are eligible to receive one or two doses of an updated mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. Please consult with your child’s provider on the timing and number of doses to administer based on previous COVID-19 vaccines administered.

Will getting a flu shot or COVID-19 vaccine cause me to be infected with the illness?

No, you cannot become infected or infect others from receiving the COVID-19 or flu vaccine because, they don’t contain a live virus. Some people may develop symptoms, such as a mild fever, chills, and body aches. These symptoms are not the same as actually having influenza or COVID-19. If your symptoms persist for more than 48 hours, please reach out to your ACCESS provider.

How We Can Help

Flu and COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective and offered at all of ACCESS’ 35 Chicago and surrounding suburban locations. Find a convenient ACCESS health center near you and schedule an appointment today to make sure you and your family stay healthy.

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Updated October 31, 2023