The idea is to try to stop a dual outbreak of the viruses, as the flu vaccine is likely to prevent someone from getting the flu.
The city is texting about 300,000 residents, according to Adam Abadir, a spokesman for the city’s health department.
“We would hope that even if someone has gotten their flu shot already, receiving this text might encourage them to tell their friends and family to get vaccinated,” Abadir said. “We also want to let residents know of our flu vaccine vouchers program, providing Baltimore City residents an opportunity to receive a free flu shot if they don’t have health insurance.”
Is the flu different from COVID-19?
Yes. Although the symptoms are similar, they are different viruses. And it is possible to get them at the same time, according to doctors.
Symptoms for the flu are fever, cough, sore throat and vomiting, among others.
You may need tests for your doctor to know whether you have the flu or COVID-19.
Is one more dangerous than the other?
Both can cause people to get extremely sick, leading to hospitalization or death.
The flu kills 12,000 to 60,000 people each year, and hundreds of thousands are typically hospitalized. The CDC estimates about 4.4 million cases were prevented last year through vaccination, which is recommended for everyone age 6 months and older.
Maryland’s emergency departments reported visits for more than 100,000 suspected flu cases and 67 deaths last season.
The Morning Sun Newsletter
Get your morning news in your e-mail inbox. Get all the top news and sports from the baltimoresun.com.