Fall 2022 Public Health Reminders
The following was sent to all members of the Boston University Community on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 from Dr. Judy Platt, MD, Chief Health Officer and Executive Director of Student Health Services.
Dear Members of our Boston University Community,
As we head into the fall and winter months, we are reaching out with important reminders for the upcoming cold and flu season. Please read below for information regarding flu, COVID-19, and tips to stay healthy this season.
The presence of flu viruses typically increases in October and peaks between December and February. Symptoms of flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, muscle aches, headache, or runny nose.
Student Health Services and Occupational Health Center are joining together to host several flu shot clinics this fall. Flu shot clinics will take place on both the CRC and BUMC for students, faculty, and staff. You will need to schedule an appointment in order to receive your flu shot. Students should visit the Student Health Services website and faculty/staff should visit the Occupational Health Center website for more information about flu shot clinics, including dates and how to schedule an appointment. University flu clinics begin Oct. 18.
The virus that causes COVID-19 changes over time. You can improve your protection against COVID-19 by getting a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster dose. While a second booster or “fourth dose” is not required at Boston University, we encourage all those who are eligible to be vaccinated. For anyone curious about the amount of COVID-19 in Boston and surrounding areas you may consult the MWRA COVID-19 wastewater tracking project. With ever-evolving COVID-19 variants and continued concerns about the increased transmissibility of these variants, vaccination remains our most powerful prevention tool.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) will be hosting a one-day Pfizer COVID-19 bivalent booster clinic at Boston University Fitness & Recreation Center on Nov. 15 (9am-3pm). Please register for the MDPH Pfizer COVID-19 bivalent booster clinic through the MDPH website by clicking here. Additional appointments and locations for the COVID-19 bivalent booster in Massachusetts can be found here.
Individuals who are experiencing flu or COVID-19 like symptoms, or who have had a recent close contact exposure, are recommended to be tested for COVID-19. Free PCR testing, for those with symptoms or exposures, performed at our BU Laboratory remains available at the Health Services Annex in the rear of 925 Commonwealth Ave. Monday-Friday (9am-5pm). For more information about COVID-19, students can visit the Student Health Services COVID-19 website and faculty/staff can visit the Occupational Health Center COVID-19 website.
Tips for Staying Healthy
We strongly recommend that everyone get vaccinated with both the annual influenza and COVID-19 bivalent booster dose if you are eligible. Getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 can help protect you from becoming infected from these illnesses. Even if you do get infected, vaccination can prevent more severe disease and hospitalization. In addition, washing your hands and using sanitizer regularly, covering coughs and sneezes, eating nutritious meals that sustain you, getting enough sleep, and engaging in activities like walking can help promote health and wellness.
Wearing a well-fitted, high-quality mask and staying home to get the rest you need when you are not feeling well will help protect you and others around you from getting sick. Masks are available in various common areas across the CRC, BUMC and Fenway campuses including the George Sherman Union, 808 Commonwealth Ave., 72 East Concord St., 150 Riverway, and many more. Masks will continue to be required in all Boston University healthcare settings on our campuses and are strongly encouraged on the BU shuttle and in other crowded indoor settings.
Wishing you all a healthy fall semester,
Judy T. Platt, MD (she/her/hers)
Chief Health Officer and Executive Director
Student Health Services