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Do Your Part - Get Your Flu Shot

Flu Shot and COVID-19

September 4, 2020

By now, you’ve probably heard the ways you can help protect yourself and others during the COVID-19 pandemic — wear masks, maintain social distance from others, wash your hands frequently, etc. — but here’s another one to add to the list: get your flu shot.

The Extra Importance of Getting Your Flu Vaccine This Season

Staying healthy and safe is on everyone’s mind this year. While the flu vaccine won’t help you avoid infection with COVID-19 as they are different viruses, it can help you avoid putting extra strain on your respiratory system by preventing the flu.

Getting the flu vaccine each season not only reduces your risk of illness but can also prevent hospitalizations and deaths. And if you aren’t in the hospital due to the flu, you help conserve those resources for people fighting COVID-19.

Getting your flu shot is just another easy, simple way to do your part to help others during this difficult time.

But What About Side Effects from the Flu Shot?

In most cases, the only side effect from the flu shot is a sore arm at the injection site for a short period of time.

In rare cases, people report experiencing fever, muscle pain and weakness after getting the flu shot. If these symptoms occur at all, they are usually mild and last only a few days after getting the shot. Severe allergic reactions are also extremely rare.

And, it’s impossible to get the flu from the flu vaccine itself. The shot is not a live virus vaccine and can’t replicate in the body.

How Effective is the Flu Shot?

While the effectiveness of each flu vaccine ranges from year to year, and is dependent on a number of factors, the bottom line is this: considering how sick you can get from the flu, it’s always recommended to get the vaccine.

In the chance you get a flu strain that isn’t covered by the vaccine that year, you’ll still be less likely to experience severe symptoms compared to someone who didn’t get the vaccine.

Who Should Get the Flu Shot?

Anyone six months and older is encouraged to receive the flu vaccine, and it’s especially important for high-risk populations like older adults and those with pre-existing conditions — the same populations at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Physician and Patient


Here’s When + Where to Schedule Your Flu Shot

Flu shots are available now, and it’s best to get your shot by the end of October. Contact your primary care provider or local UnityPoint Clinic today to schedule yours.

But is It Safe to Go to Clinics Right Now?

For added peace of mind as you come in for your flu shot or other health care needs during the pandemic, UnityPoint Health is taking extra safety measures in our clinics like virtual waiting rooms, temperature screenings and team members wearing masks and face shields. We’re here to help make sure you’re safe, so you can feel comfortable getting the care you need.

And if you need immediate care for a minor illness or injury after-hours or on the weekend, visit one of our convenient UnityPoint Clinic Urgent Care or UnityPoint Clinic – Express locations. UnityPoint Clinic – Express clinics are open 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. each and every day, 365 days a year.

Have Other Questions?

UnityPoint Health has a ton of resources to help answer your questions about topics like the flu and COVID-19:

  • Check out these helpful FAQs about getting a flu shot during COVID-19.
  • Learn more about scheduling your flu shot in Greater Des Moines (DSM) today.

You can count on The Partnership to continue to share accurate and fact-based updates. See more on COVID-19 here.

Brad Hill, PA-C

Brad Hill, PA-C is a board-certified physician assistant at UnityPoint Clinic® - Express in Waukee. He enjoys educating and working with his patients to help meet their health care needs and goals.