Should I Still Bother With the Flu Shot?

Flu? What flu? No one gets the flu anymore, right? With the flu numbers down in recent years due to lockdowns and restrictions, it is easy to forget just how serious and even lethal the flu can be.

It is a common question; surely, with all the hand-sanitising, and with more people now working from home when sick, surely I do not still need to worry about the flu?

After all, during COVID lockdowns, very few people got the flu. Plus, we are all a bit sick of talking about vaccinations. Not to mention, we are all a bit sick of worrying so much about getting sick.

Yet, getting the flu vaccine this year is more important than ever.

If you are in the Southern Hemisphere, you get a preview of the upcoming flu season by watching what is happening in similar countries in the Northern Hemisphere. And the same is true if you are in the Northern Hemisphere – the Southern Hemisphere flu season gives you an idea of what the next flu season may look like.

Over the Northern Hemisphere winter, the US experienced the worst flu season since the start of the pandemic. According to the Bedford Lab, which studies the spread of viruses, the last season was one of the worst flu seasons of the decade.

People had not been exposed to the flu virus in more than two years, and this impacted their natural immunity. The Northern Hemisphere flu season also started earlier than usual, and many people who intended to get the flu vaccine left it too late.


What the flu vaccine does

Similar to the COVID-19 vaccine, the flu vaccine does not always prevent the flu, but it does reduce your chances of getting it. Flu vaccination prevents illness in approximately up to 6 to 10 healthy adults under the age of 65. Because the vaccine is not effective in absolutely every case, some people may still catch the virus after having the flu shot. But the risk of illness is still reduced, and the severity of symptoms if you do catch it.


Can you get covid and flu vaccines together?

It is safe to get your flu vaccination and COVID-19 vaccination or booster on the same day if you want to. Remember, the flu shot will not protect you from COVID-19, and the COVID-19 vaccine will not protect you from the flu.