Answer: No – there’s a big difference.
Though you may experience typical cold symptoms like sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, hoarseness and cough, the flu can be more dangerous than your run-of-the-mill common cold. “In the United States alone, 36,000 people die and more than 200,000 are hospitalized each year because of the flu,” Dr. Pate says. Certain populations are at greater risk, including infants, the elderly, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems, per the CDC. What’s more, if you suffer from a medical condition, such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes, the flu can lead to more serious complications.For this reason, Dr. Pate encourages people to get vaccinated. “Even if the shot doesn’t prevent you from getting the flu, it can decrease the chance of developing severe symptoms,” she says.
C’mon, get your flu shot. It’ll only hurt for an instant.