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All Tufts faculty, staff and affiliates are strongly encouraged to get the flu vaccine this season—either on-campus or, if you work remotely, through your primary care doctor or local pharmacy.

Reasons to get the flu vaccine:

  • Even healthy people can become sick with the flu and experience serious complications, including pneumonia.
  • Older people, young children, pregnant women and anyone with a medical condition such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease are particularly vulnerable to the flu.
  • The annual flu vaccine is our most powerful weapon in preventing the flu, an illness that hit between 39 and 56 million Americans last year, of whom an estimated 24,000-62,000 died.
  • Protecting yourself and others is especially important this year during the COVID-19 pandemic

On-campus flu clinics will be run by CVS Caremark and staffed by health care personnel from October 20 through November 5.

**On-Campus flu clinics for students will be available Oct. 20 – Nov. 14. Read More.**

Flu Clinic Locations & Hours of Operation by Campus:

Flu Clinic Locations & Hours of Operation by Campus:
Date Campus Location Registration Link
27-Oct., 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Medford Jumbo Health Center (161 College Ave.) Click here to register
28-Oct., 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Medford Jumbo Health Center (161 College Ave.) Click here to register
29-Oct., 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Boston 1 Kneeland St., 7th Floor Student Lounge Click here to register
30-Oct., 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.   Grafton 201 Westboro Rd. - Kohnstamm CR Click here to register
5-Nov., 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Medford Jumbo Health Center (161 College Ave.) Click here to register

If you receive your flu vaccine at an on-campus clinic, please follow these guidelines:

  • Appointments are required in order to receive your flu vaccine. You must schedule your appointment at least 24 hours in advance via the unique link provided in the chart for each clinic date. The registration site will close 24 hours prior to the clinic start time.
  • No walk-in appointments will be allowed, and you cannot cancel or reschedule the appointment once it is made. However, if you must miss your originally scheduled appointment time, you may walk in at another time on the same day.
  • You should bring your insurance card, your Tufts ID and proof that you have completed the Daily Health Status Survey.
  • If you are working remotely, you should not come to campus for your flu shot. Please make an appointment with your primary care physician or at your local pharmacy.

Please note: If you require the “high dose” flu vaccine or other special accommodations, please make an appointment with your primary care physician or at your local pharmacy.

Influenza FAQs

In the United States, flu season occurs in the fall and winter. While influenza viruses circulate year-round, most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February, but activity can last as late as May. The overall health impact (e.g., infections, hospitalizations, and deaths) of a flu season varies from season to season.

CDC collects, compiles, and analyzes information on influenza activity year-round in the United States and produces FluView, a weekly surveillance report, and FluView Interactive, which allows for more in-depth exploration of influenza surveillance data.  The Weekly U.S. Influenza Summary Update is updated each week from October through May.

  • Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu.
    • Flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related doctor’s visits each year. For example, during 2018-2019, flu vaccination prevented an estimated 4.4 million influenza illnesses, 2.3 million influenza-associated medical visits, 58,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations, and 3,500 influenza-associated deaths.
    • During seasons when the flu vaccine viruses are similar to circulating flu viruses, flu vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor with flu by 40 percent to 60 percent.
  • Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization for children, working age adults, and older adults.
    • Flu vaccine prevents tens of thousands of hospitalizations each year. For example, during 2018-2019 flu vaccination prevented an estimated 58,000 flu-related hospitalizations.
    • 2014 study showed that flu vaccine reduced children’s risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission by 74% during flu seasons from 2010-2012.
    • In recent years, flu vaccines have reduced the risk of flu-associated hospitalizations among older adults on average by about 40%.
    • 2018 study showed that from 2012 to 2015, flu vaccination among adults reduced the risk of being admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) with flu by 82 percent.
  • Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions
    • Flu vaccination has been associated with lower rates of cardia events in people with heart disease, especially among those who had had a cardiac event in the past year.
    • Flu vaccination can reduce worsening and hospitalization for flu-related chronic lung disease, such as in persons with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
    • Flu vaccination also has been shown in separate studies to be associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with chronic lung disease.

No, a flu vaccine cannot cause flu illness.

While a flu vaccine cannot give you flu illness, there are different side effects that may be associated with getting a flu shot or a nasal spray flu vaccine. These side effects are mild and short-lasting, especially when compared to symptoms of bad case of flu.

A flu shot: The viruses in a flu shot are killed (inactivated), so you cannot get flu from a flu shot. Some minor side effects that may occur are:

  • Soreness, redness, and/or swelling where the shot was given
  • Headache (low grade)
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with influenza viruses. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing may be needed to help confirm a diagnosis. Flu and COVID-19 share many characteristics, but there are some key differences between the two.
  • While more is learned every day, there is still a lot that is unknown about COVID-19 and the virus that causes it. This page compares COVID-19 and flu, given the best available information to date.

Check with your doctor promptly if you are at high risk of serious flu complications and you get flu symptoms.  People at high risk of flu complications include young children, adults 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease.