Note: This post has been periodically updated to reflect new information about accessing flu shots.
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 COVID-19.
As part of an interim Johns Hopkins University Mandatory Influenza Vaccination Policy that is being implemented for 2020-21, significantly more Hopkins personnel and students will be required to receive a flu vaccination this year, regardless of their role or workplace location.
For questions regarding the updated flu vaccination policy, please refer to this page on the COVID-19 info site.
Q: Who needs a flu shot and when is the deadline?
A: We highly recommend that all students get the flu vaccine this year. Anyone who is currently spending time on a Johns Hopkins campus, including those living in campus housing or working in labs, 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 we are able to expand campus activity in the future, so even if your classes and activities are completely remote now, you will likely find it helpful to get a flu shot and be prepared to register that fact with the university.
Q: Where can I receive a free flu shot?
A: You have several options.
Walgreens. All Johns Hopkins University students can get a free flu shot at any Walgreens pharmacy anywhere in the United States using the voucher provided by the university at https://ivv.tic.jh.edu/. This voucher will also allow Walgreens to automatically tell Johns Hopkins you have received the vaccine, and no additional action will be necessary. Walgreens locations near the Homewood Campus include:
Health Plans. Affiliates with the Johns Hopkins Wellfleet Plan insurance may also get a free vaccination at any in-network Express Scripts pharmacy, which includes most major pharmacies. If you choose this option, get documentation from the provider so you can complete the registration process through the Student Health and Wellness Center (for students in all schools outside East Baltimore) or University Health Services (for School of Nursing and School of Public Health) when the time comes to return to on-campus activity. Affiliates with the Johns Hopkins East Baltimore health plan (EHP) may go to any network pharmacy for a free vaccination. Most chains and retail pharmacies are included but the best way to find a participating vaccine pharmacy is to log into www.caremark.com/wps/portal and find one near you.
Johns Hopkins University Clinics. Johns Hopkins will hold a limited number of local flu vaccine clinics. However, to keep activity at these locations safely distanced, we encourage you to take advantage of your local Walgreens pharmacy or primary care physicians. Here are the dates and locations of the university clinic opportunities.
In order to save time and keep lines short and safe, please print and complete this form ahead of time and bring it with you to your flu clinic. If you cannot print the form, there will be paper versions on site at the clinic.
Q: If I have already obtained the flu vaccine and it is not in my file, how do I submit proof of vaccination?
A: If you obtain your vaccine through the Walgreens program or one of the clinics, proof of vaccination will automatically be entered into your file. All students can also use this online self-submittal tool.
Q: What if I may be eligible for a vaccine exemption for religious or medical reasons?
A: Student requests for medical exceptions from the School of Medicine (SOM), School of Nursing (SON) and Bloomberg School of Public Health (BSPH) should use the appropriate form from the Department of Health, Safety, and Environment website.
Students from the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (KSAS, including Academic Advanced Programs), Whiting School of Engineering (WSE, including the Engineering for Professionals Program), the Peabody Institute, the Carey Business School, the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and the School of Education (SOE) may submit a medical exception form, available at this link AND provide documentation of medical contraindications to the SHWC by email to firstname.lastname@example.org; Fax: 410-516-4784; or mail: Roanna Kessler, Student Health and Wellness Center, 1 E 31st Street, N200, Baltimore, MD 21218.
Student requests for religious exemptions should be submitted to the Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) via this online form.
Q: Will I be permitted to take part in classes or activities on campus this fall and into the 2021 calendar year if I don’t obtain the flu vaccine and do not have an exemption approved?
A: Students will not be permitted to engage in on-campus activities after November 20 without the flu vaccine or an approved exemption from Student Health and Wellness (SHWC), Occupational Health, or OIE.
Q: Does the Walgreens flu vaccine contain latex?
A: The Walgreens vaccine does not contain latex. It also does not contain thimersol. If you receive the vaccine from a provider other than Walgreens, please ask the provider.
Q: I am not planning on coming to a Hopkins campus before May 30, 2021. Is it still required that I get a flu vaccination or an official exemption?
A: In those cases, it’s not a requirement. But Hopkins strongly urges all eligible people to get a flu shot, to support their own health and that of their local communities, especially in light of the COVID pandemic.
Q: I am currently in a country where I cannot obtain a flu shot, and am planning to come to a Hopkins campus. What should I do?
A: We encourage to you get vaccinated in your home country if possible but if you are unable to do so, you can receive a flu shot when you return to the US. Walgreens has more than 9,000 US locations, or you can opt for other providers or retail chains.