If there was ever a time to consider getting a flu shot, this is the year, because this influenza season coincides with a global COVID-19 pandemic. A flu shot can reduce your chance of developing symptoms that resemble COVID-19 which would require you to get tested and self-isolate. This can increase wait times at testing centres as well as test results and can delay the identification of COVID-19 cases.
Influenza is also a severe illness, especially for the very young, seniors 65 years old and older, pregnant women, Indigenous people, youth and adults with chronic health conditions or compromised immune systems. The illness is more than the common cold and the virus can lead to symptoms of fever, headache, fatigue, muscle aches and cough. Complications from influenza can lead to hospitalization or even death. On average, approximately 12,000 people are hospitalized in Canada and 3,500 die from complications of influenza every year.