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Flu vs. COVID Frequently Asked Questions

​​How do you know if your child has the flu or COVID-19?

Influenza (the flu) and COVID-19 have very similar symptoms. However, COVID-19 symptoms vary greatly based on the individual while flu symptoms are typically the same from person to person. Symptoms can include fever, cough, congestion, runny nose, body aches and headaches, among other things. Boys Town Pediatric Clinics offer rapid influenza and COVID-19 testing by a simple nose swab that can help distinguish between the two.

Will a flu shot protect my child from COVID-19?

The flu vaccine will only protect against the influenza virus, not the COVID-19 virus. Children six months of age and older are eligible for both flu and COVID-19 vaccines, and both are recommended.

Why is it important to get the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine?

It is important to receive the flu shot every year and be up to date on your COVID-19 vaccine. If an unimmunized individual were to get the flu or COVID-19, it could compromise their immune and respiratory systems, making it harder for them to combat these respiratory infections.

When is the best time to get the flu shot?

The best time to receive the flu shot is when it becomes available at your doctor or pediatrician's office. After receiving the flu shot, it takes a couple weeks for the vaccine to gain its effectiveness. The sooner the shot is received, the sooner the individual is protected.

How do I prevent infections?

Since COVID-19 and the flu are spread the same way, through respiratory droplets, the best way to prevent both is to continue the precautions recommended by the CDC. This includes cleaning your hands frequently with soap and water (or hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available), routinely disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, considering covering your nose and mouth with a mask if you are high risk and will be at public gatherings where you may be in close contact with a person who is ill as well as staying away from sick people.

If you suspect your child has the flu or COVID-19, contact your pediatrician.​

COVID-19;Illness and Injury;Cold and Flu Flu Clinic;Internal Medicine;Pediatrics