CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - We’re just weeks away from the start of flu season, and doctors, along with Gov. Mike DeWine, are asking Ohioans to get a flu shot as soon as possible.
“Twindemic,” you’re going to hear this phrase more in the coming weeks.
It’s the current coronavirus pandemic, clashing with the flu season and it’s a scenario that doctors fear could occur in the latter half of the year.
But getting a flu shot early, could minimize those chances.
Dr. Claudia Hoyen, with University Hospitals, says while symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 are similar, both are very different. Dr. Hoyen says, “They are two distinctly separate viruses. When you get the flu shot, you will develop antibodies to the influenza virus.”
“If you were to get COVID-19 on top of it, there’s a chance you would probably be sicker with one or the other,” she added.
There are myths that the shot will compromise your immune system. Dr. Hoyen says it’s the opposite.
“If you tend to develop some sort of symptoms when you get the flu shot, that’s a good sign, because that means you’re probably making antibodies.” says Dr. Hoyen.
And while COVID-19 vaccines are in Phase 3 trials, it could still be months before one is available. Dr. Hoyen says being proactive in staying healthy through fall and winter is key.
“It’s really important that as many people as possible get their shot now...so that if there is another shot that we can give for the COVID-19 in the next coming months...we’ll have the capacity to be able to do that.”