Does the flu shot protect me from COVID-19?

By Walgreens Jun 25, 2022 • 2 min

Could the flu vaccine combat the coronavirus? Find out from Danielle Soriano, pharmacy manager, plus learn when you should get vaccinated.

Flu and COVID-19 prevention

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting the flu vaccine each year is the best way to protect yourself from the flu. But what about COVID-19? The answer is no. The flu and COVID-19 are different diseases, and you need to be vaccinated specifically for each one.

While the flu shot doesn't protect you from COVID-19, it's an important step to help keep you out of the doctor's office and hospital. Remember, it takes about two weeks for your body to build antibodies to fight the flu after being vaccinated, and the CDC recommends everyone get the flu shot by October. The flu vaccine changes every year, so it's important to get your shot every year, typically in early fall.

In the meantime, there are actions you can take to reduce your risk of getting sick with COVID-19 or the flu:

  • Wash your hands often. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose and being in public settings. When soap and water aren't available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Do not touch your mouth, nose or eyes with unwashed hands.
  • Keep your distance from others. Stay at least 6 feet away from other people, especially those who are sick. If someone in your home is ill, try to keep your distance from them, too.

Clinically reviewed and updated by Nancy Kupka, PhD, RN, June 2022.