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VERIFY: No, the flu shot won't give you a positive COVID-19 test result

COVID-19 comes from a completely different virus than the annual influenza, so experts say the vaccine wouldn't play a role in COVID-19 testing.

TOLEDO, Ohio — As if we don't already have enough to worry about these days, flu season is approaching in the fall.

Some claims on social media, however, say getting the flu vaccine could cause you to test positive for COVID-19.

We checked with the experts on this claim: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as Dr. Brian Kaminski, who leads ProMedica's COVID-19 battle.

First thing's first: it's important to understand the terminology.

"Traditionally, coronaviruses cause the common cold," Kaminski said. "So many of us or most of us have had a form of a coronavirus. Not COVID, not SARS-CoV-2 that produces COVID-19."

So COVID-19 is the disease derived from a specific virus known as SARS-CoV-2. The flu is derived from an influenza virus.

"Two totally separate viruses and different family of viruses," Kaminski said.

Credit: WTOL

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But there are quite a few similarities in symptoms and how they are both spread. The CDC says both viruses can produce headaches, sore throats and fevers, and both are spread person-to-person via droplets.

But the mere fact that they're different viruses genetically matters in regard to this claim.

"Entirely different category when we're talking about the flu and receiving a vaccination should have no bearing on whether or not you test positive or negative for COVID," Kaminski said.

So we can VERIFY: the flu shot won't give you COVID-19, nor will it cause you to test positive.

The CDC says you should absolutely still get your flu shot as long as you aren't actively sick with the coronavirus.