Flu and COVID-19 vaccine facts: What you need to know

October 1, 2021 Swedish Health Team

Key takeaways:

  • Check out information from trusted sources that can help you prepare for the flu season in the midst of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Vaccines teach your body to recognize new diseases and prompt your immune system to fight infection.
  • Getting vaccinated for the flu and for COVID-19 offers the highest level of protection available against both diseases, especially if you were to contract them at the same time.


As we head into our second cold and flu season with COVID-19 still present, vaccination is one of the most important ways we can protect ourselves and our communities. Experts continue to urge everyone who is eligible and able to get vaccinated against both COVID-19 and the flu to keep your immune system in fighting order should you contract one or both of these diseases at the same time. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states it is safe to get both vaccines at once.

We’ve put together a handy list of resources to answer your questions and give you the knowledge you need to get through the upcoming flu season in good health.

What are your symptoms?

When seasonal illness sets in, it won't always be clear which infection you're dealing with. Check your symptoms against the chart below. 


Vaccines teach your body to recognize new diseases and prompt your immune system to fight off infection. They are a vital component of keeping you, your family and your community safe and healthy.

Flu shots

It’s easy to dismiss flu season and minimize its serious threat to your health. After all, it’s “just the flu,” right? Not even close.

Influenza is commonly called the flu. You may think it’s an unpleasant but relatively harmless illness that goes away if you consume enough chicken soup and Netflix. But it’s a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death in the most severe cases. And remember, if you’re fighting off the flu, your immune system will be less prepared to battle COVID-19 should you contract it. Here are some resources to help keep you safe and healthy:

Find our more on our blog about the importance of getting a flu vaccine:

COVID-19 vaccine

If you are eligible and able to get vaccinated against COVID-19, we encourage you to do so. Use this simple locator tool to schedule your vaccine to protect yourself and others.

Learn more below about the vaccine’s safety and efficacy and guidelines for staying safe if you’re already vaccinated.

Learning about the vaccine

The CDC site ‘Key things to know about COVID-19 vaccines’ outlines what we know and what we’re still learning about vaccines, their safety and how effective they are at preventing infection. You can also get answers about a wide range of vaccine-related topics, including how to prepare for your vaccine, effectiveness, myths and facts and guidance for staying safe if you’re already vaccinated.

You can learn more about the boosters, eligibility and availability in our blog post, COVID-19 vaccines: FDA approval, boosters and third dose for immunocompromised.

FDA authorization

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) site ‘COVID-19 vaccines’ gives you the lowdown on authorization with news, updates, podcasts and online videos. You can also learn more about the path the vaccines are taking toward authorization in our blog, FDA formally approves Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

Protection for kids, parents-to-be and high-risk groups

Trying to navigate a pandemic and flu season while juggling the needs of your household or managing a challenging health condition can be stressful and overwhelming at times. These resources can point you in the right direction to get the support you need.

Vaccines for kids

For kids who can’t be vaccinated yet against COVID-19, the CDC shares tips to protect your unvaxxed family members in their section for families with vaccinated and unvaccinated members. Additionally, our team weighs in:

We are closely monitoring the status of the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11 and will continue to update you as we find out more.

Vaccines for pregnant women

Vaccines for high-risk groups

Certain groups are at higher risk of complications from the flu and COVID-19 flu according to the CDC. Without a flu shot or COVID-19 vaccine, people over the age of 65 or with underlying conditions who get infected are more likely to experience more severe symptoms that present a serious threat to their health. See the below vaccine information and resources for:

Where can I get vaccinated?


Find a doctor

Whether you require an in-person visit or want to consult with a doctor or specialist virtually, you have options. Swedish Virtual Care connects you face-to-face with a nurse practitioner who can review your symptoms, provide instruction and follow-up as needed. If you need to find a physician, caregiver or advanced care practitioner, you can use our provider directory.

Find out the latest updates on how we’re handling COVID-19.

Related resources

It’s flu season

CDC report shows COVID-19 vaccines may be given with flu vaccines

Keeping kids safe at school during COVID-19

Do I have a cold or the flu?


This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

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