UIC Flu Vaccine Program
To help ensure the health and safety of the UIC community, the university is strongly encouraging all students, faculty and staff who are on campus this fall to be vaccinated for seasonal flu this October.
Why is it important to get vaccinated this year?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that we all get vaccinated to protect ourselves, our families and our campus from the flu virus. Flu shots are the best way to protect against the contagious respiratory illnesses that influenza viruses cause and decrease a co-infection with COVID-19.
How can I get vaccinated this year?
UIC’s flu vaccination program for on-campus students and employees will begin on Monday, October 5 and continue through October 30. You can get the flu vaccine at the following locations:
- Student Center West, Centennial Room (first floor)
- Dorin Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Room (ends 10/9)
- Student Center East, Room 302 (begins 10/12)
Flu shots will be available at UIC John Marshall Law School on October 19, 20, and 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in rooms 305 and 307.
Appointments are required this year to comply with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines and can be made online up to three weeks in advance. Please bring your i-card or UI Health ID to the vaccination site.
If you are learning or working from home or are a retiree, you are encouraged to obtain a flu vaccination from your personal healthcare provider, local pharmacy, or a city or county health department clinic.
If receiving the flu shot on campus, please be mindful of new precautions the university is taking in accordance with its COVID-19 response.
- Employees are required to provide pre-consent using the online portal, Immuware. If you do not pre-consent, your appointment is subject to cancellation.
- Once your consent form has been approved, you will receive an email notification that your consent has been approved and a link to a Microsoft Bookings schedule will be provided.
- Arrive for your appointment as directed in your email confirmation. See the recommendations below to keep you safe and your appointment on time:
- Do not come to the appointment if you are ill or in quarantine.
- Do not arrive more than five minutes prior to your appointment time.
- If you are more than five minutes late for your appointment, you may be asked to reschedule.
- Wear short sleeves or a shirt that provides easy access to your upper arm. If you’re wearing a tie, please take it off prior to arriving.
- Do not bring large bags, backpacks, or coats with you.
- You will be asked to stand to receive your vaccine unless you specifically ask for a chair.
COVID-19 PRECAUTION: Do not come in for your appointment for influenza vaccination if you are currently experiencing signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle aches, abdominal pain, diarrhea, runny nose, loss of taste or smell), or are off work due to a positive COVID-19 test, an exposure to COVID-19, or travel quarantine.
I have been diagnosed with COVID-19. Can I still receive the influenza vaccine?
Vaccination should be temporarily deferred for persons with active, suspected or confirmed COVID-19 – regardless of symptoms – until criteria have been met for them to discontinue isolation. If you have tested positive in the past 10 days, or are still experiencing symptoms, please defer getting the vaccine. If you have had COVID-19 but have not tested positive in the past 10 days, and are not experiencing any symptoms, you can receive the flu shot. Diagnosis of COVID-19 is not a contraindication to influenza vaccination. Vaccination is postponed to avoid exposing employees and patients to the virus that causes COVID-19.
What precautions will be taken to keep me safe during a vaccination event?
The following precautions will be in place to ensure safety during vaccination events:
- Appointments for vaccination will be scheduled to avoid overcrowding and facilitate social distancing.
- Persons being vaccinated will be encouraged to stand for vaccination, to reduce contact with potential touchpoints. Chairs will be available upon request, as needed.
- Temperature checks occur at building entry points.
- Persons diagnosed with COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 will not be admitted.
- All employees will be practicing universal masking.
- Vaccination stations will all be a minimum of six feet apart.
- Touch points will be routinely disinfected.
- Signage promoting social distancing will be posted.
I am over 65. Which flu vaccine should I receive?
People over 65 can receive either the regular flu vaccine or the high-dose flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and its Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices have not expressed a preference for any flu vaccine indicated for those 65 and older.
As people get older, the immune system becomes weaker and decreases the body’s ability to build a good immune response after getting the flu vaccine. Aging also puts people at greater risk of severe illness from the flu. The high dose flu vaccine has a higher antigen level in the vaccine than the regular flu vaccine. A higher dose of antigen in the vaccine is thought to give a better immune response, and therefore, better protection against flu. Results from a clinical trial of more than 30,000 participants showed that adults 65 years and older who received the high dose vaccine had 24% fewer influenza infections as compared to those who received the standard dose flu vaccine (CDC, 2018).
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicated that the high-dose vaccine was 24.2% more effective in preventing flu in adults 65 years of age and older relative to a standard-dose vaccine. The confidence interval for this result was 9.7% to 36.5%
I am highly allergic to eggs. Can I receive the flu vaccine?
Persons with a history of egg allergy of any severity may receive any licensed, recommended, and age-appropriate influenza vaccine. Cell-based flu vaccines that do not use any egg components will be available if necessary. The cell-based vaccine manufacturing process uses animal cells to grow the flu virus.
Will I have to pay for the vaccine?
The flu vaccination will be provided at no cost to UIC employees and students. For employees and students with health insurance through CampusCare or a state-sponsored CMS plan, those plans will be billed, with no additional cost to the individual. For students or employees not covered by CampusCare or state insurance plans, UIC will not bill their insurance or the individuals. Flu vaccinations provided in Peoria, Rockford and Springfield are provided by a third party, and not the university. At those sites, there may be a cost to employees and students who are not covered by a CMS plan or CampusCare.
Which viruses does the vaccine protect against?
The 2020-2021 influenza vaccine is made to protect against the following four viruses:
- A/Hawaii/70/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus (updated)
- A/Hong Kong/45/2019 (H3N2)-like virus (updated)
- B/Washington/02/2019 (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus (updated)
- B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (Yamagata lineage) virus
You can learn more about the importance of getting a flu vaccine at Protect Your Health This Season.