Keeping current on recommended immunizations is important every year. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a reminder to stay up to date is even more urgent. As summer comes to an end, many of us will begin to think about getting the annual flu shot. You’ll want to think, and act, with greater urgency this year.

Will the flu shot help protect you from COVID-19?

No. Influenza and the new coronavirus are different types of viruses, but the seasonal flu can also be serious and deadly. During the 2018-2019 flu season, 490,000 people in the U.S. were hospitalized and 34,200 people died. Increasing the number of people who get a flu shot will reduce illness and hospitalizations. This will reduce the burden on health care systems caring for COVID-19 patients.

Protect yourself and your loved ones

Vaccines are the best defense we have against contagious diseases. They provide immunity before children are exposed to potentially serious, even life-threatening diseases including measles, pneumococcal disease, and polio. Preteens, teens, and adults also need safeguards against serious diseases.

Not all recommended vaccines are listed here. Ask your provider about the immunizations you and your family members may need, such as:

  • Annual influenza vaccine
  • Meningococcal conjugate vaccine to protect against meningitis
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to help prevent cancers caused by HPV
  • Tdap vaccine to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and whooping cough, with a booster every ten years
  • Shingles (adults 50 or older)
  • Pneumococcal disease (adults 65 or older)

Remember, most viruses are transmitted person-to-person. When you protect yourself, you protect others, including those who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons. You can plan and track your family’s immunizations using the free app, Thrive by Quartz. Learn more at



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