Faculty and Staff: Seasonal Flu Vaccine Required by Spring Semester
Dear RIT faculty and staff,
Getting the seasonal flu vaccine is one of the most important things we can do for our health and the health of our community members this year. Experts recommend flu shots for nearly every demographic—children, adults, and elderly individuals. In the midst of a global pandemic, immunization against the flu is even more important. Symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu can be similar, and the two illnesses may be difficult to distinguish. The convergence of the expected flu season along with COVID-19 may exacerbate the potential for severe respiratory illnesses. This intersection could possibly overwhelm our health care systems.
Unlike COVID-19, the flu is familiar to us and a safe vaccine is available. While the effectiveness of the vaccine varies year-to-year, we do know that even if the vaccine doesn’t prevent one from getting the flu, having had the vaccine will make their illness less severe.
For these reasons, it is critical — and RIT is requiring — that students, faculty, and staff who will be on campus for any reason receive a seasonal flu vaccination by the start of Spring Semester.
A record number of flu shots is being manufactured nationally as part of a push to immunize against influenza during the pandemic and the vaccine is now widely available. We encourage you to get your vaccine as soon as possible. Medical or religious accommodations may be requested through RIT’s accommodations process.
Faculty and staff should provide proof of immunization by using the RIT Employee Self-Serve portal, and start by following instructions on the Human Resources website. Proof should include name, date, and documentation that it was a flu shot.
RIT is partnering with Wegmans again this year to provide flu clinics on-campus (for employees) as well as at three Wegmans store locations (for employees and family members) on specific dates and times. Please refer to the Flu Shot Information and Schedule on the HR website for details. If you get a flu vaccine at a pharmacy (other than the Wegmans specified times/dates described above), the RRH Family Medicine Practice on the RIT campus, or at your physician’s office, the provider will submit the claim to your insurance. If you are covered by RIT’s medical plan, then the cost is fully covered. If you are covered by insurance other than the RIT medical plan, there may or may not be a cost to you, depending on that plan’s terms.
We must all continue to take an active role in our personal health and the health of our community and use all available tools, including the seasonal influenza vaccine and the three Ws. Here’s to taking control and actively directing the health of our campus!
Jo Ellen Pinkham
Associate Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer