Flu Season During the COVID Pandemic: Why You Need a Flu Vaccine
With the flu season underway, it’s important to get a flu vaccination for protection while COVID-19 continues to spread. Your body typically takes up to two weeks to develop an immune response from a vaccine, so getting vaccinated is the safest way to prevent the flu.
Protect Yourself and Your Community
“There is a real community need to be unified with flu vaccination because of COVID,” said Cameron Wolfe, MD, an infectious diseases specialist with Duke Health. “Hospitals and clinics get surges in patient volume every winter because of the flu, and the threat of strain on hospitals and clinics because of the flu and COVID is real.”
Who Should Get a Flu Vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends flu vaccination for everyone six months of age and up. Certain populations are more vulnerable -- for example, people over 65, young children, those with respiratory illnesses such as asthma, or illnesses that lower your immunity. If you have a chronic disease or immune condition, talk with your doctors first. There are safe options for people with egg allergies.
Schedule an Appointment for Your Flu Vaccination in Duke MyChart
Flu vaccination appointments are available at select Duke Health clinics. It is easy to schedule an appointment through Duke MyChart.
If you cannot schedule your appointment through MyChart, need to make appointments for multiple family members, or have questions about scheduling your flu vaccination, please call 919-385-0430 Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. You can also call your doctor's office directly to schedule your flu vaccination.
These appointments are for the flu vaccination only. Care for other health care needs will not be available.
Getting a Flu Vaccination During Routine Visits
If you have an upcoming annual wellness exam or another visit with a Duke primary care provider scheduled, send a message to your doctor through MyChart or during check-in to learn if can receive a flu vaccination during that appointment. If you’re accompanying your child to a primary care appointment, you can also ask to see if you can get a vaccination at the same time your child receives one.
It Is Safe to Receive Doses of the Flu and COVID-19 Vaccines
If the clinic offers both vaccinations and you haven't been vaccinated against COVID yet, you can get a vaccination for the flu and COVID on the same day. Receiving both does not change the effectiveness of either vaccine or cause more side effects.
Protecting Yourself and Loved Ones During Your Visit
Precautions are in place to keep you and your family safe when you come to a Duke clinic for your flu vaccine. Masks are required for anyone over two years old. If you don’t have a mask, one will be provided. Please review our visitor restrictions before you come for your appointment.
Additional Ways to Prevent the Flu
Flu cases have been declining over the past two years, most likely because of the widespread use of face masks and frequent handwashing. Please consider wearing a face mask indoors and frequently washing your hands to help prevent the spread of flu and COVID.