Colder weather is right around the corner, and with it comes flu season. And while the COVID-19 vaccine is on the minds of many, it’s also that time of the year to get a flu vaccine. The flu is caused by several different strains of virus. Influenza A and B are the ones that spur flu season.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms for both flu and COVID-19 can range from mild to severe, and both illnesses can cause fatigue, body aches, fever, chills, coughing or headache. Shortness of breath, runny nose and loss of taste or smell are more common with COVID-19.

The CDC recommends almost everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot by the end of October. For people with heart disease, the flu vaccine can lower the risk of dying from heart problems and any other cause, according to research published in March in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Flu strains evolve, so the vaccines are reformulated every year. This year’s vaccines are designed to protect against the four flu viruses most likely to spread during the upcoming season.

If you’re planning on getting a flu vaccine, there’s a chance you could experience side effects. The CDC said the good news is that the side effects are generally mild and go away within a few days.

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