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Here in the UK, we are now over six months into coping with, dealing with and understanding Covid-19. Whilst there is still a lot to learn when it comes to the long term effects it will have throughout the globe, there are certainly some solid facts and insights that can ensure we make the right decisions in our personal and professional lives. And it is these facts that we really need to have a firm grasp on as we head towards winter. 

Winter in the UK is an incredibly testing time on our healthcare system and workplaces. Influenza is around every year (Flu Season – September to March) but in different strains , and so we endeavour to understand and control it throughout the winter season. However, now we also have Covid-19 to contend with, there are a lot more considerations to take into account.

What is the difference between Covid-19 and Influenza?

Whilst these two illnesses are both highly contagious respiratory infections, they are caused by different viruses. Covid-19 is a new strain of coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2, and influenza is a different virus of its own. Influenza can be of different strains, these are predicted using data from around the world and a vaccine is produced each year to match the predicted strains. It can be rather difficult to tell the difference between Influenza and Coronavirus  as the symptoms are so similar and so testing is needed to confirm a diagnosis. 

Covid-19 SymptomsFlu Symptoms
Shortness of BreathShortness of Breath
HeadacheStuffy Nose
Sore ThroatHeadache
Muscle and Body Aches Sore Throat
New Loss of Taste or SmellMuscle and Body Aches
Nausea or vomiting 

What Else?

As you can see above, there are only a few minor symptoms to date that can differentiate the two. The Covid-19 symptoms are continually monitored and noted as time progresses and more cases are confirmed, but there are just a couple of notable differences. One of the stand out symptoms from Covid-19  has certainly been a new loss of taste or smell; as this has never been a notable symptom of flu.

Another difference is the length of time that symptoms take to appear after exposure and infection. If you are infected with flu, symptoms can take between 1-4 days to appear. However, if you develop Covid-19, symptoms typically appear 5 days after being infected, but in some cases up to 14 days later and it can vary between people. 

Avoid the confusion of viral infections. The flu vaccination is the best defence known to combat influenza and reduce associated sickness absence costs. 


In some cases, particularly those with underlying health conditions, people can experience complications which can be extreme and sometimes fatal. Both of which are incredibly serious on their own, but the risks escalate should a patient have both Covid-19 and flu at the same time. If you are suffering with one of them, your ability to cope and fight the disease of another is reduced, thus leading to more complications, inability to work and other health concerns.

Economic and Employment Risks

The country dealing with a pandemic is already highly difficult and detrimental to  all industries. It is already incredibly difficult to manage staff and keep business moving when staff and continually off sick or having to isolate, not to mention when flu season arrives and the confusion between the two begins. 

As an employer, a huge concern will be having a staff member ill with flu/covid-19 symptoms and not knowing whether or not they have contracted either virus. Unless an individual has a test, it will be extremely difficult to tell between the two. 

However, if you provide your staff with the flu vaccine, they are  more protected against the risk of contracting the Flu virus. Having this extra protection is never a guarantee, but certainly a preventative option in the season that could be detrimental to business. 

Less absence.

Less confusion.

More protection.

More confidence.

By providing staff with the 2020 flu vaccine you are showing concern for their health, giving them confidence to work and ensuring your business has done all it can to take on winter with less fear. 

How can we help?

At Acorn, we can provide your 2020/2021 flu vaccine to your staff with great service and a reliable, swift clinic of vaccinations. 

It is recommended that quadrivalent vaccines for use in the 2020 – 2021 northern hemisphere influenza season contain the following:

Egg-based Vaccines

 an A/Guangdong-Maonan/SWL1536/2019 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus

an A/Hong Kong/2671/2019 (H3N2)-like virus

a B/Washington/02/2019 (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus

a B/Phuket/3073/2013 (B/Yamagata lineage)-like virus.

Last year, the uptake of the Flu Vaccine in the UK was only between 50% – 75%. Having an effective vaccine only works when the uptake is strong. Encourage your employees to stay safe and protect themselves, their colleagues and their family this flu season. 

2020 is potentially one of the most important years to have this vaccination. Reserve yours today by ringing the team at Acorn.

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