Flu shots help keep everyone safe

About half the people in the U.S. get a flu shot every year.

When you get one too, you'll help prevent:

4.4 million Flu illnesses*

58,000 Flu hospitalizations*

You'll also help to free up space in doctors' offices and hospitals.

That means you’re doing your part to help with social distancing and free up medical resources that can be used to combat Coronavirus.

The sooner you get your shot, the better – especially this year.

You should try to get a flu vaccine by the end of October. However, vaccinations should continue throughout flu season, which lasts into January or even later. Use the vaccine finder below to find a flu shot near you.

Flu shots and social distancing

We know that getting out for anything has been difficult over the past few months. Here are some ways you can get the flu shot while still social distancing:

  • Talk to your doctor about your options. Many providers are helping keep their offices safe with virtual check-ins, letting patients wait in their car until called, limiting the number of people in waiting rooms, and extensive disinfecting after each visit.
  • Call your local pharmacy to see if they offer flu shots on-site. You may even be able to drop in while grocery shopping to reduce unnecessary stops.

Stay safe during flu season

We know you’re already taking additional precautions this year, so some of these may sound familiar. But it’s still important to make sure you take the following steps to prevent flu as well as COVID-19.

Practice social distancing
Wash your hands
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
Stay home when you are sick
Wear a mask in crowded places
Get your flu shot

Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19

Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses.

What is the difference in symptoms between Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19?

Both COVID-19 and flu can have varying degrees of signs and symptoms, ranging from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe symptoms.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 and flu share many of the same symptoms, including:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache
  • Vomiting and diarrhea (more common in children than adults)

Only COVID-19:

  • Loss of taste or smell

Feeling sick but aren't sure if your symptoms match Coronavirus?

It may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing is needed to help confirm a COVID-19 diagnosis. Highmark’s COVID-19 Symptom Checker is a quick, easy-to-use online tool that’s available 24/7 to help you decide if it’s time to seek medical help and advise you on next steps.