How Should I Prepare for Flu Season During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Labor Day has passed, which makes now the opportune time to begin making necessary preparations for flu season. Flu season begins with the fall in late September, lasting throughout the cold, harsh winter months before ending in late spring. With the added concern of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, making sure you take adequate steps to prepare for flu season is critical this year. With an on-site laboratory and the ability to perform COVID-19 and flu testing, AFC Urgent Care Lakewood is available for your testing needs this fall. AFC Urgent Care Lakewood is also able to perform flu shots for walk-in patients seven days a week as well as answer questions about prevention options against COVID-19 and influenza.  

Are there differences between COVID-19 and the influenza virus?

Both COVID-19 and the flu are upper respiratory infections, which results in similar symptoms with very different results. The flu is caused by specific influenza viruses that are known to mutate and evolve throughout the year and can be combated against with a vaccination engineered to defeat the current strain of the virus. Symptoms can vary from mild to severe and include fatigue, fever, chills, congestion and nausea. COVID-19 is caused by a previously unknown virus called SARS-CoV-2, which was initially detected at the end of 2019. COVID-19 has more severe symptoms and often more severe side effects, with many patients hospitalized due to their symptoms. Over 189,000 people have died due to COVID-19 as of September 8th, with over 59,000 cases reported in the state of Colorado to date. 

Is it possible to have COVID-19 and the flu at the same time?

In short, yes. A patient will be able to contact both the flu virus and COVID-19 at the same time, but doctors are currently conducting research as to how common this may be as well as the side effects that may result. When determining a diagnosis, your physician will ask a series of questions to determine when your symptoms began and the severity of your symptoms. One way to help narrow down a potential diagnosis is by getting an annual flu shot, which is available to walk-in patients at AFC Urgent Care Lakewood seven days a week.

Can a flu shot provide immunity against COVID-19?

A flu shot can only provide immunity against the influenza virus. It will not provide immunity against COVID-19. The flu shot is effective for six months, or the duration of one flu season, which is why you should visit AFC Urgent Care Lakewood for flu shots each fall.  

When should I get a flu shot?

Because the flu shot takes fourteen days to take effect, it is recommended to get a flu shot early in the season, before the virus starts to really spread through your community. An ideal time for your flu shot is between September and mid-October, allowing your body enough time to adjust especially before the shift into primarily indoor activities. 

Walk-In Flu Shots in Lakewood, Littleton & Golden, CO

Most patients over the age of six months should get an annual flu shot each fall. If you don’t have time to make an appointment with your primary care physician, visit AFC Urgent Care Lakewood for a walk-in flu shot! Our center is open seven days a week with convenient evening and weekend hours for added convenience. For more information or questions about the flu vaccine, please call 303-988-3600.