“Kids are more likely than adults to transmit the flu virus to older people and other family members,” Dr. Shivdasani says. “I try to encourage parents to have their children vaccinated, especially if there’s anybody at high risk for flu in the house, including people with conditions such as diabetes, autoimmune disorders, blood disorders, heart disease, asthma, cancer and more.”
Dr. Shivdasani says it’s especially important to get the flu shot this year because people can contract both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time, potentially leading to more severe symptoms. If people become ill, receiving a flu shot can also help simplify their diagnosis because the symptoms of COVID-19 and flu overlap.
“Without getting a flu shot, it will be hard to know whether someone is ill with COVID-19 or flu without testing because the symptoms are very similar,” she says.