First COVID-19, now the flu? No, thank you.

With the ongoing pandemic, the flu season is another thing we all have to worry about. Should we take our flu shots this year?

A flu shot was debatable back then. Now with COVID-19 rampaging through several countries, it’s more important than ever to decide if getting a flu shot is the best choice. (Photo courtesy of

The pandemic has everyone exhausted from fear and anxiety. The number of infections and deaths are fluctuating from increasing to decreasing, to getting better to getting worse; we just don’t know when we’ll ever catch a break. As if we aren’t already worrying about COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter protests and other worldly issues, now we need to worry about the flu.

I know what you’re thinking; this is going to create a bigger disaster. But we don’t have to go bonkers over this. In a Scientific American article titled, When and Why You Should Get a Flu Shot, where the importance of flu shots is discussed, James Cherry, a pediatric infectious disease physician at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that the fact that we’ve been wearing masks and already practicing social distancing will give people a greater chance at not contracting the flu.

That doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be a great idea to get your flu shot. Even though we probably have a head start on flu precautions and prevention habits; such as social distancing and having less people outside; it’s still a good idea to get the vaccine.

If you’re like me who’s a couple years behind on the flu vaccine, you might want to reconsider if you want one this year or not. 

You might not care about contracting COVID, but you’d be the unluckiest person in the world to end up with both the flu and COVID, because you chose to ignore them both.

Since COVID and the flu both share similar symptoms, it’d be a whole mess trying to figure out which one that you have. Emily Landon, executive medical director of infection prevention and control at the University of Chicago Medicine, agrees that this is not the time to slack on getting your flu shot. Landon said in the same Scientific Article, that it’s important to make sure you’re up to date with your flu shots.

“Because of that problem [of COVID and the flu sharing the same symptoms], people who get the flu might needlessly stay quarantined or get tested for COVID-19 as a precaution,” Landon said. “Therefore, widely vaccinating against influenza can reduce unnecessary COVID-19 testing and protect vulnerable people.”

According to a flu article on Health Harvard’s website, “Time for flu shots — getting one is more important than ever”, that also stresses the importance of a flu shot, it’d be a good idea to get your flu vaccine, even though there’s a possibility you could still catch COVID-19.

“Even if the vaccine doesn’t prevent you from getting the flu, it can decrease the chance of severe symptoms,” article contributors Elise Merchant and Wendy Stead wrote.

Health Harvard supports Landon’s reasoning from above, making a point that the pandemic has already left many hospitals with a shortage in supplies and beds. People getting sick from the flu and COVID will further deplete hospitals’ resources when they could be focusing more on COVID patients than people with the flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also sides with getting your flu shot, regardless of age or amount of healthiness a person might appear to be. 

No one is telling you not to get one. It’ll only make matters worse if the worse were to happen to you. You can never be too safe or cautious when it comes to your health.

Taking this into consideration, there are still people who think the flu vaccine isn’t a “must”. In an health article titled, Why I’m Not Getting a Flu Shot, Dr. Phil Maffetone, a clinician, educator, author, and internationally recognized researcher, shares his thoughts and advice on health and wellbeing on his own website.

Maffetone addresses his take on flu shots and why it isn’t a priority in his book, saying that your own healthy immune system is good enough.

“Why don’t I get a flu shot? The answer is simple: because I’m healthy,” Maffetone said. “The best defense against the flu, or any other infection or illness, is having a healthy immune system. A flu shot does not make you healthy; it provides you with artificial immunity. The best defense is your body’s natural immunity.”

Maffetone adds that even if the flu vaccine does help you against severe symptoms, it won’t protect you against other harsh viruses.

And again, the flu shot doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get the flu still. It’s potential protection that could benefit you, but at the same time can end up not benefiting you.

Call me foolish or not, but I wasn’t planning on getting my flu shot or the COVID vaccine when that comes out. However, I didn’t consider that flu season is just around the corner, so I might be more cautious and think a little bit more on what I want to do.

I personally won’t judge whether you get one or not. There’s no such thing as being “too safe” when it comes to your health. No one is going to tell you that getting the flu shot is a bad idea. If you have a weak immune system, medical problems, or a person that wants to help make a difference, or simply one that’s very cautious over these combined dangers, then go for it.