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The flu vaccine does not affect COVID-19 test results or the likelihood of catching COVID-19

CLAIM: Getting a flu shot will cause false positive results for COVID-19.

FALSE. The flu vaccine does not cause you to test positive for COVID-19. It also does not interfere with your ability to fight a COVID-19 infection.

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Getting a flu shot does not affect your COVID-19 test results.

COVID-19 and seasonal influenza (flu) are different diseases. COVID-19 is caused by a novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. The flu is caused by influenza viruses.

A flu shot causes your body’s immune system to make antibodies that protect you from influenza. These antibodies are different from the antibodies your body makes to fight an infection caused by the novel coronavirus. If you get an antibody test to see if your body’s immune system has fought a COVID-19 infection in the past, the test looks for antibodies unique to the novel coronavirus. It does not look for antibodies to the flu.

If you get a diagnostic test to see if you currently have a COVID-19 infection, that test looks for genetic material unique to the novel coronavirus. It does not look for influenza viruses.

In other words, whether you are tested for a current COVID-19 infection or to see if you previously had COVID-19, having had a flu shot in the past will not cause a false positive test result for either test.

 
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The flu vaccine does not affect your chance of getting COVID-19.

There is no evidence that getting a flu vaccine can make you more or less likely to catch COVID-19. There also is no evidence that getting a flu shot interferes with your body’s ability to fight a COVID-19 infection.

The flu vaccine does not contain coronavirus particles and does not cause COVID-19 infections.

 
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Be sure to get your flu shot.

Everyone should get a flu vaccine each year to protect against the flu. Protecting yourself and those around you from the flu reduces the ability of the flu to spread from person to person at the same time COVID-19 is spreading. That helps more people stay healthy during a period of time when demand for health care services is high.

 

Published on: June 8, 2020