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WVU encourages flu vaccination to keep community healthy

Mountaineer Mary Roush, dressed in her Mountaineer attire, gets her flu shot.

Experts predict widespread infection after two mild seasons. To promote the health and safety of our campus and local community, West Virginia University is encouraging all students, faculty and staff to get an influenza vaccination this fall.

Watch a video from the School of Pharmacy about the importance of flu shots.

In addition to getting a flu shot from a primary care provider, walk-in appointments are available for students, faculty and staff through WVU Medicine Student Health during regular business hours from 7:45 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9:45 a.m. to 4 p.m on Saturdays.  

WVU Medicine Urgent Care and Primary Care locations are currently offering appointments. To make an appointment, call 855-WVU-CARE (855-988-2273) or self-schedule through MyWVUChart. If you are a WVU Medicine employee, the annual flu shot campaign hosted by WVU Medicine Employee Health begins Tuesday (Oct. 4). 

Students, faculty and staff can receive their flu shot from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday (Oct. 5) or from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 12, 18 and 20 at the WVU Student Recreation Center. Individuals with insurance should bring their insurance card. 

Following two mild flu seasons, due in part to COVID-19 safety guidelines such as masking and social distancing, experts are predicting more widespread infection this year. While seasonal flu viruses are detected year-round, it’s recommended to get vaccinated by the end of October in order to provide protection during the peak of flu season in fall and winter. 

The CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone six months and older. This includes individuals with conditions that could put them at higher risk for flu complications as well as pregnant women. 

WVU Medicine requires all staff, providers, residents, students and volunteers to have a flu vaccination unless they have an approved medical or religious exemption. This includes WVU faculty and staff (state employees) whose job duties bring them into contact with patients as well as those whose work requires them to enter patient care areas intermittently, even if their main work location is elsewhere. Individuals who are uncertain if this requirement applies to them should ask their supervisor for clarification. Students working in WVU Medicine clinical areas or on clinical rotations elsewhere should contact their student services office for additional information. Proof of immunization must be provided to Employee Health by Wednesday, Dec. 28. If requesting medical or religious exemption for the flu vaccine, you will need to submit an exemption form to HROneSource by Wednesday, Nov. 2. If you are requesting a medical exemption, your primary care provider will need to sign a medical exemption form. 

Both the WVU Medicine Student Health and WVU Medicine Urgent Care clinics also offer COVID-19 vaccination opportunities. First, second and booster doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are available at these clinics, and individuals may choose to get their flu shot at the same time as their COVID-19 vaccine. 

Flu shots are fully covered under PEIA and The Health Plan for insured WVU employees, spouses and dependent family members. Flu shots also are covered for students under the Aetna Student Health insurance plan. Those not insured through these providers also may bill their insurance. Note: A $30 cash payment option also is available for the flu vaccine. However, most insurance providers fully cover the cost. The COVID-19 vaccine is offered free of charge. 

Visit the Talent and Culture or WVU Medicine Student Health websites for more information. 

Students should contact Student Health at 304-285-7200 with any questions. Employees should contact their primary care physician.