Johns Hopkins University is strongly urging all faculty, staff, and students to get a flu shot for their own well-being, to protect the safety of the wider community, and to comply with a new requirement for in-person activity at JHU. There are several ways affiliates can get a flu shot at no cost and register that fact with the university.
Anyone who is currently spending time on a Johns Hopkins campus will be required to have a flu vaccination or an approved exemption for the 2020–21 academic year by Nov. 20. This policy will continue to apply when the university is able to expand campus activity in the future, so even if you are working or learning completely remotely now, you will likely find it helpful to get a flu shot and be prepared to document compliance with the university.
This year, all JHU full- and part-time employees and students can get a free flu shot at any Walgreens pharmacy anywhere in the United States using a voucher provided by Johns Hopkins. The voucher also will allow Walgreens to automatically tell Johns Hopkins that you have received the vaccine, and no additional action will be necessary.
In addition, individuals covered by a Johns Hopkins health plan, including the JHU Wellfleet Plan for students, can get a flu shot at no cost from their in-network primary care physician. Affiliates with insurance through Johns Hopkins also have opportunities to get free flu shots from participating pharmacies and should check their pharmacy programs for details.
If you choose any of these options, Johns Hopkins will not automatically be informed, so you should get documentation from the provider in order to complete the registration process when the time comes to return to on-campus activity. Details on how to submit proof of vaccination are on the Wellness website for students and on the HR website for employees. Those sites also have details on how to apply for a medical or religious exemption.
Employees and graduate students working on JHU's campuses will have the opportunity to attend a limited number of vaccination clinics. The schedule and appointment links are on the Health, Safety, and Environment website. In order to keep activity at these locations safely distanced, the university is encouraging affiliates to take advantage of a local pharmacy or physician's office when possible.
Affiliates of the School of Medicine may have different requirements and procedures and should refer to the Johns Hopkins Medicine policy and guidance on the Health, Safety, and Environment website.
"While we are all taking active measures to stay safe and protect the health of others in our community amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more crucial than ever to get vaccinated against the seasonal flu, which can have its own serious and disruptive effects and which has symptoms similar to those of COVID-19," wrote Heidi Conway, vice president for human resources, and Kevin Shollenberger, vice president for student health and well-being, in emails to the university community. "Thank you for taking this important step for your health and to reduce the risks our community is facing at this difficult time."