Starting in Fall 2020, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Boston University are requiring that students receive an influenza vaccine (flu shot). The vaccine requirement is an important step to reduce flu-related and other respiratory illness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The flu shot requirement applies to*:
- All full-time undergraduate and graduate students under 30 years of age
- All full- and part-time clinical and health science students
*The flu shot requirement is for students in BU’s Learn from Anywhere (LfA) Testing Categories 1, 2, and 3.
FAQs about the Flu Shot Requirement
Why are students required to get a flu shot?
Per an order issued by the Commonwealth’s Department of Public Health, the flu shot will be required for all full-time undergraduate and graduate students under 30 years of age and all full- and part-time health science (clinical) students at post-secondary institutions.
Which students are required to get a flu shot?
Requirements apply to all full-time undergraduate and graduate students under 30 years of age and all full- and part-time clinical and health science students. These requirements are for students in BU’s LfA Testing Categories 1, 2, and 3.
Students that will not be on-campus and are in BU’s LfA Testing Category 4 are encouraged but not required to get a flu shot.
When do students need to receive a flu shot by?
The Commonwealth is requiring that students receive a flu shot no later than December 31, 2020.
Are there any exemptions to receiving a flu shot?
Immunization requirement waivers can only be granted under two circumstances listed below. For no other reasons can waivers be granted.
- Religious Waiver: A religious waiver is provided by the student documenting their conflict with the requirement due to their religious beliefs. This is then reviewed with a medical provider at SHS, an appointment must be scheduled by the student.
- Medical Waiver: Physician certification that immunizations are contraindicated due to a prior adverse reaction or current medical condition.
What about students who enroll after January 2021?
- New students that meet the above indicated population criteria enrolling between January 1 and March 31, 2021 must have a documented dose of influenza vaccine for the current influenza season (along with all other required vaccinations) when they start school.
- Students that meet the above indicated population criteria enrolling after March 31, 2021 are not required to have a dose of influenza vaccine until they enroll in the Fall 2021 semester.
FAQs about Getting a Flu Shot
What type of flu shot do students need?
Any age-appropriate licensed influenza vaccine for the current season fulfills the requirement. This includes injectable and nasal spray vaccine types.
Where can students get a flu shot?
Students can choose to get a flu shot on- or off-campus.
- Student Health Services will be hosting on-campus flu clinics during the course of the Fall 2020 semester. Flu clinics will be announced on the SHS calendar. Flu clinics are appointment-only, and students must make an appointment on Patient Connect.
Off-campus* near the Charles River Campus (CRC):
- CVS 730 Commonwealth Ave.
- CVS 900 Commonwealth Ave.
- Osco Pharmacy in Star Market 1065 Commonwealth Ave.
- CVS 1249 Boylston St.
- CVS 1341 Boylston St.
- CVS 294 Harvard St.
- CVS 1322 Beacon St.
*If a student gets a flu shot-off campus, they must upload proof to Patient Connect.
Off-campus* near the Medical Campus (BUMC):
- Walgreens 1603 Washington St.
- CVS 874 Harrison Ave.
- CVS 725 Albany St.
- CVS 341 Harrison Ave.
- CVS 780 Albany St.
- Walgreens 841 Boylston St.
*If a student gets the a shot off campus, they must upload proof to Patient Connect.
How much will getting a flu shot cost?
On-campus: Student Health Services will be hosting on-campus flu clinics during the course of the Fall 2020 semester. Flu clinics will be announced on the SHS calendar. Flu clinics are appointment-only, and students must make an appointment on Patient Connect.
- Students with the BU Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) can get a flu shot for free through a SHS flu clinic.
- Students that have other health insurance (private insurance) can get a flu shot from a SHS flu clinic for $40. SHS will bill your Student Account for the cost of the flu shot. Select insurance companies might be able to reimburse students for getting the flu shot.
Off-campus: The price of getting a flu shot off-campus will depend on a student’s health insurance and where they go to receive a flu shot.
How do students submit proof of a flu shot if they received it off-campus?
To upload documentation, students should follow the process listed below:
- Login to Patient Connect
- In the menu on the left, select “Forms”
- Select “Immunization Upload”
- Select “Add Immunization Record” to attach documentation
- Select “Save” at the bottom of the page
If a student is learning remotely now but may come to campus later in the academic year, do they need to get a flu shot?
The immunization requirements apply to all students who attend any classes or activities on campus, even once.
If a student is learning remotely now but may come to campus later in the academic year, we recommend receiving the flu shot and uploading immunization records into Patient Connect as early as possible to ensure all records are in place prior to students attending classes or activities in person.