Cold and Flu Season

What You Need to Know

We're still in unfamiliar territory this cold and flu season: Between the influenza (flu) virus and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we simply don't know what the next few months will bring. While both COVID-19 and the flu can cause people to become very sick, vaccination can prevent serious illness and hospitalization. When you get vaccinated against COVID-19 and get your annual flu shot, you help ensure that we can continue to effectively care for patients most in need.

A Cold, the Flu or COVID-19?

The flu and COVID-19 are very similar, which is going to make this flu season especially challenging, so it's important to know the difference. Overlapping symptoms include:

Symptoms currently found to be unique to COVID-19 are changes in—or loss of—taste or smell.

Some people with the flu or COVID-19 may experience vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

If you develop overlapping symptoms, it is important to:

Recognize early that you could have either illness

Be aware of your symptoms

Determine when to seek testing or medical care

If your symptoms do not improve, or you are feeling worse, you should first contact your doctor to arrange testing for COVID-19 and potentially influenza, as well. If you test positive for COVID-19, you should isolate yourself for at least 10 days or until your symptoms resolve, or follow your doctor's recommendations.

Scheduling flu shots has never been easier.

If you have seen your primary care physician within the last 16 months, self-schedule through My CS-Link.

Send a Message on My CS-Link 24/7 

If you have not yet established care with a Cedars-Sinai primary care physician, call 1-800-CEDARS-1 to schedule a doctor's visit.

What You Can Do: Get Your Flu Shot

The best defense against influenza is your annual flu shot. We also need to follow the safety measures that can prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 and the flu:


Following masking guidelines

Physical distancing

Covering coughs and sneezes

Staying home when sick

Because influenza viruses and coronaviruses are different, a flu shot won't protect against COVID-19. However, it is the best way to protect yourself and your community this cold and flu season. It is safe for you to get the flu and COVID-19 vaccinations at the same time. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about your or your child’s healthcare.

Visit a Saturday Family Flu Shot Clinic

If both you and your child have seen your primary care physician and pediatrician within the last 16 months, self-schedule through My CS-Link for a Saturday Clinic where you can conveniently get your flu shots at one location. Choose our Beverly Hills Internal Medicine location at 8767 Wilshire Blvd. when you book your appointment.

Flu Season Q&A

Still have questions about how COVID-19 will affect the flu season this year?

Visit the Cedars-Sinai Newsroom for Flu Season Q&A.