All USC students taking in-person classes or living in university-owned residences in Fall 2020 are required to complete immunization for influenza by November 1. Students living in off-campus residences and taking classes remotely are also strongly encouraged to get a flu vaccine. Students returning to in person classes in Spring 2021 will be required to show proof of vaccination before they will be permitted on campus.
This requirement will help mitigate the potential simultaneous impact of flu and COVID-19 during the seasonal flu timeframe in the fall/winter months. Exact timing of flu season may vary, but activity often begins to increase in October; flu activity typically peaks between December and February, although activity can last as late as May.
Flu vaccines are currently available through USC Student Health for students in the campus vicinities. Students are routinely offered flu shots at all in-person visits and locations, including the COVID-19 testing areas (Pappas Quad, Pardee Lawn, Parkside Lawn, Engemann Plaza). Students may also make appointments through the student health records portal, https://usc.edu/myshr.
Why Take A Flu Vaccine?
- Flu and COVID-19 often can present similar respiratory symptoms; receiving a flu vaccine will help with an accurate and timely diagnosis if you become ill.
- A flu vaccine this season can also help reduce the burden on our healthcare systems in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Saving medical resources for care of COVID-19 patients is a way we can all contribute to community health.
- September and October are optimal times for receiving the flu vaccine, as it takes approximately 2 weeks for your immune system to create antibodies for protection. Don’t delay; if you have an opportunity to get vaccinated for flu, take it.
Cost — Flu vaccines administered through USC Student Health have no cost for SHIP/Aetna plan members; the vaccine cost for students on other plans is $20 and is added to your student account. Flu vaccines are routinely a covered benefit of most insurance plans and are offered through many retailers, including USC Pharmacies. Learn more key facts from the CDC.
Updated immunization records — Students who are vaccinated through USC Student Health will automatically have this updated in their health records. Students who receive vaccinations through other providers should save a copy of their record showing their name, date of birth, and vaccine/date administered.
Exemptions — Students who are unable to take a vaccine must complete an exemption form, available at https://studenthealth.usc.edu/medical-policies/.
Uploading documentation — Receipts and exemption forms may be uploaded in the “Downloadable Forms” section of the student health record portal, https://usc.edu/myshr.
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