Influenza Basics- Minnesota Dept. of Health

Influenza Basics

Getting the flu feels miserable, and can sometimes make you dangerously sick. Find out how to protect yourself and those around you, as well as how to identify the flu, and what you should do if you get sick.

Both flu and COVID-19 are respiratory illnesses that can make people very sick. It is possible to get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, but we don't know yet how often that could happen. That's why it's important to take steps to prevent both diseases. The flu vaccine can help protect you from getting the flu and prevent you from passing it to people who could get very sick from flu, such as older family and friends or people with underlying medical conditions. The flu vaccine will not protect you from COVID-19.

Thousands of Minnesotans end up in the hospital each season due to the flu, and our hospitals are already busy with COVID-19 patients. With both the flu and COVID-19 circulating this fall and winter, we want to do everything we can to keep Minnesotans healthy so we do not overwhelm our health care system.

Get vaccinated to protect yourself from flu. Cover your cough, wash your hands, stay home when sick, clean frequently touched surfaces, wear a mask, and stay 6 feet from others to prevent the spread of flu and COVID-19.

Who should get flu vaccine
  • Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every year unless they cannot because of medical reasons.
  • People most at risk for complications from flu: 
    • People age 65 and older.
    • Children under 5 years.
    • Pregnant women.
    • People with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.
    • American Indian and Alaska Native.

If you are sick or have symptoms of COVID-19, talk to your doctor or other health care provider before you get your flu vaccine.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccines in development, see COVID-19 Vaccine.

Updated Monday, 11-Jan-2021 14:32:06 CST