Flu Vaccination 2020

All students are required to complete their flu vaccination by November 20. There is no cost for students who get the shot at Habif or the Athletic Complex. Habif will bill your insurance.

How to get your Flu Shot:

  1. Starting October 12, 2020 we will be holding a daily flu shot clinic at the Athletic Complex from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can schedule your appointment at this clinic through the Online Rec Store. For those students who are undergoing COVID-19 surveillance testing, you can schedule both your surveillance test and your flu shot on the same day for your convenience. Please note: Parking at the Athletic Complex is restricted to individuals with the appropriate parking pass. Students are encouraged to walk to the AC for their flu shot, but those that drive should park in the DUC parking garage. Visitor Parking is currently reduced to a rate of $1/hour; flu shots typically take less than 30 minutes. Students will be responsible for this charge and any tickets they receive for parking in areas not covered by their parking permit.
  2. You can receive a private flu shot with one of our nurses at Habif by logging on to the student portal and booking an appointment online.
  3. You can receive your vaccination from off campus pharmacies, like Millbrook Pharmacy, (7010 Pershing Ave.) with availability on the weekends. If you choose an off-campus location, you must obtain proof of your immunization and upload it to your medical record via the student portal.
  4. If you qualify for an exemption to the flu shot based on religious or medical grounds, please fill out the Immunization Exemption form and submit it along with a letter from clergy or physician on letterhead detailing the reason the exemption is being requested to habifinfo@wustl.edu.  It will be reviewed by our executive director and we will let you know if it has been approved.
  5. Any student who has not received a flu shot by Friday, November 20th will have their campus access/card swipe disabled. This access will not be returned until the student provides evidence of receiving their 2020 – 2021 flu shot. This would include students studying remotely for the fall who plan to return to campus in January.

    All access restrictions related to the flu vaccine mandate will be removed after the conclusion of the 2020-21 flu season (March 31, 2021).

Flu Vaccine Flyer (PDF)

What should I do if I think I might have the flu?

  • We are happy to see you at the Habif Health and Wellness Center to see if you have the flu and give you recommendations for care.
  • An evaluation for flu will include talking to you and examining you, and may or may not involve a rapid flu test. During times when the flu is common, it is not always necessary to have this test in order to be diagnosed with the flu.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, we recommend that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, to help prevent spreading the flu to others.
  • It is ok to leave home to come to Habif for medical evaluation and care, or for other necessities, but try to avoid close contact with others, or wear a mask over your nose and mouth. This helps prevent spreading the flu to others.

Recommendations for care

Influenza Treatment

For some patients who are at greater risk of complications from the flu due to underlying illnesses, age or pregnancy, or for those patients who have been sick less than 2 days, antiviral medications may be prescribed. They often help shorten the duration of illness and can prevent complications. For some patients, the antiviral medications have caused nausea and sometimes vomiting.

Influenza is a viral illness and antibiotics will not help.

To limit the debilitating effects of flu, follow the instructions below.

  • Rest. You do not have to stay in bed, but you should limit your activity as much as possible. Your body can use the energy normally used for physical activity to fight the infection.
  • Drink Lots of Fluids. It is unnecessary to eat if you have no appetite, but you should drink fluids to help control the fever and reduce aches and pains.
  • Take acetaminophen (such as Tylenol), ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), or naproxen (such as Aleve) which are available over-the-counter. They can relieve muscle aches and fever. Follow the recommended dosage on the package. You should not take aspirin.
  • Oral decongestants (such as Sudafed) may relieve excessive nasal discharge and stuffiness. Preparations without antihistamines are less likely to cause drowsiness. Decongestants make some people jittery, unable to sleep and may cause dry mouth.
  • Keeping a throat lozenge, cough drop, or hard candy in your mouth will stimulate your saliva and help soothe your throat. Take Acetaminophen or Ibuprofen, which are available over-the-counter. They can relieve muscle aches and fever. Do NOT use Aspirin!
  • Over-the-counter cough suppressants have limited efficacy for relief of cough due to upper respiratory infection. A teaspoon of honey dissolved in a warm liquid may be more effective.
  • Run a Humidifier or Vaporizer to help relieve dry, hacking cough. If you don’t have a vaporizer, run a hot shower and breathe the moist air. Pots filled with water or wet towels hung in a room will help to produce the same humidifying effect.
  • Limit or Discontinue Smoking. Smoking irritates the lining of the respiratory tract, thus lowering the resistance to complications.
  • Practice Good Hygiene. To help prevent the spread of the virus, wash your hands frequently, cover your nose and mouth when sneezing, properly dispose of facial tissues, and do not share items like toothbrushes and drinking containers.

Protect Others

If you think you have influenza we ask that you rest at home and to not expose others to the flu in class or at other campus locations. We ask that you take your temperature daily and remain isolated until you are fever free for 24 hours, without having to take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to bring your temperature down to normal. We will provide you with a thermometer and face masks.

If you are going to miss class due to influenza, call or e-mail your professors in advance of your class and let them know why you will be absent. We will provide you with a letter to show your professors stating that we have advised you to stay out of class.

Healthy tips to prevent the flu

  • Make an appointment for a flu shot!
  • Cover your cough. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough  or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. If no tissue is available, cough or sneeze into your bent elbow.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an  antibacterial hand wash.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, since that is how you spread infection.
  • Try to avoid close contact with others who are sick. Drink from your own cans/cups/bottles.
  • Use disinfectant to clean surfaces in your room or apartment, if your roommate is sick.

Med School seeking flu study volunteers

The WashU School of Medicine’s Emergency Care Research Core is seeking volunteers who have been diagnosed with the flu to participate in an immune response study.

What is the flu?

  • Influenza is a contagious virus that infects the respiratory system, generally in the fall and winter.
  • The influenza virus changes its make-up from year to year, which is why a new vaccine is made every year.

How do people get the flu?

  • The flu is spread from person to person, mainly by droplets from the nose or mouth of people with the flu, when they sneeze, cough or talk.
  • A person with the flu can be contagious (meaning they can pass it on to someone else) from one day before they get sick with symptoms, until five to seven days after they start to feel ill.

Cold or flu?

Symptoms Cold Flu
Fever Rare in adults and older children 102°-104°F, 3-4 days
Headache Rare Sudden onset and can be severe
Muscle aches Mild Common, often severe
Fatigue and weakness Mild Common, can last two or more weeks
Extreme exhaustion Never Sudden onset and can be severe
Runny nose Often Sometimes
Sneezing Often Sometimes
Sore throat Often, mild Common, can be severe
Cough Mild Common, can become severe

How serious is the flu?

  • Influenza can range from a mild illness to a life-threatening one.
  • One of the most serious complications of the flu is bacterial pneumonia, a lung infection.

What can I do to prevent the flu?

The most important thing you can do to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated!

  • The injectable flu vaccine is made from killed influenza virus, so there is no risk of getting the flu from the vaccine.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) recommends that everyone six months old or older get the flu vaccine every year.

For more information, visit influenza(Flu).

Please call us with any concerns or questions you may have at 314-935-6666. If your need is urgent, and the SHS is closed call 5-5555 on campus or 911 off campus.