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Combating coronavirus: Doctors explain why you need a flu shot even if it won’t prevent Covid-19

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Though the flu vaccine will not protect you from getting infected with Covid-19, it can help prevent other diseases that can weaken your lungs and make you more vulnerable to the virus, health experts have said.

With flu season expected to set in around September, doctors ramp up awareness efforts, explaining that the vaccine against influenza can support one’s body in fighting respiratory illnesses that often come with symptoms similar to Covid-19.

Dr Ayesha Khalid, family medicine consultant at Burjeel Medical Centre in Abu Dhabi, said: “The flu vaccine doesn’t offer protection against Covid-19, however, some studies suggest that the vaccine would help in reducing the severity of the virus. That is, if a person vaccinated against flu contracts Covid-19, he is likely to have mild symptoms.

Covid-19 and influenza are similar illnesses, she said. “So, getting a flu vaccine would protect one against the disease and would reduce the burden on the healthcare system, which is already struggling with Covid-19. People who are vaccinated are unlikely to fall sick due to influenza.”

Dr Keldiyorov explained that since flu and Covid-19 share many common symptoms, doctors and nurses will have to ensure that flu and Covid patients won’t be mingling with each other.

Everyone should avoid getting the flu, especially in the time of the pandemic, they stressed.

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