• 24 hour numbers
  • Urgent Care
    • 617-253-1311
  • Urgent Mental Health Concerns
    • 617-253-2916
  • Violence Prevention & Response
    • 617-253-2300
  • All contact numbers
  • Close
Alert icon

FAQ: Flu

Do I need a flu vaccine this year if I am wearing a mask and physically distancing from others?

Yes. It is essential that everyone who can get a flu vaccine takes the time to do so. Flu is always a dangerous disease, but it can be even more deadly when combined with the risks associated with COVID-19.

Is MIT Medical offering on campus flu vaccines during the 2022–2023 flu season?

Our 2022 Cambridge campus walk-in flu clinic has ended, but you can still get your vaccine.

    • Get your vaccine at a retail pharmacy, like CVS or Walgreens.
    • Attend a flu clinic in your community.
    • Get the vaccine from your care provider.
    I am not a MIT Medical patient, but I normally get my vaccine on campus. Can I receive my flu vaccine through MIT Medical this year?

    Our 2022 Cambridge campus walk-in flu clinic has ended, but you can still get your vaccine.

      • Get your vaccine at a retail pharmacy, like CVS or Walgreens.
      • Attend a flu clinic in your community.
      • Get the vaccine from your care provider.
      How many flu vaccinations will I need for the 2022–23 flu season?

      Adults will need just one vaccination. Children between 6 months and 9 years of age who are getting a flu vaccination for the first time will need two doses, spaced at least a month apart.

      Can my family members get their flu vaccines at an MIT walk-in clinic or at MIT Medical?

      Our 2022 Cambridge campus walk-in flu clinic has ended, but you can still get your vaccine.

        • Get your vaccine at a retail pharmacy, like CVS or Walgreens.
        • Attend a flu clinic in your community.
        • Get the vaccine from your care provider.
        I’m a student, and I need to file a medical or religious exemption to the flu shot. How do I do that?

        The request for a medical exemption must come from your doctor and must state the reason why you cannot receive the vaccine. For a religious exemption, you must state that a vaccine conflicts with your sincerely held religious belief. In either case, you must submit an exemption via the MIT Atlas (Covid Pass) app.

        Will my health insurance cover the cost if I get a vaccine off campus?

        Probably, but you may want to check with your insurance provider. Depending on your insurance coverage, you may be able to get a flu vaccine at a retail pharmacy like CVS Minute Clinic with no out-of-pocket costs. Certain restrictions apply, based on the type of coverage you have. All MIT-sponsored insurance plans allow for flu vaccines anywhere that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is accepted.

        I need documentation of my flu vaccine; how can I get it?

        Here is how to get documentation of your vaccine:

        • If you got your vaccination at a retail pharmacy, log into your pharmacy account and download the record.
        • If you received your flu vaccine at MIT Medical or at the MIT flu clinic, contact our Medical Records team (medcor@med.mit.edu), and we’ll track down the information you need.
        Can people with egg allergy get the flu vaccine?

        Yes, but not at MIT Medical’s walk-in clinics. FluBlok is a flu vaccine that is produced without chicken eggs. MIT Medical offers FluBlok vaccines by appointment for MIT Medical patients only. If you’ve had a reaction to egg in the past—hives, for example—speak to your primary care provider before you get a flu vaccine.

        How can I keep from getting sick?

        Viruses are typically spread through uncovered coughs and sneezes. You can become sick through close contact with other people or after touching a contaminated surface, and then touching your eyes, mouth, or nose. The precautions you take to avoid COVID-19 (wearing a mask, etc.) will also help you avoid the flu.

        Follow these guidelines to protect yourself and others:

        • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water for 20 seconds each time. You can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
        • Cover coughs and sneezes.
        • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
        • Stay home and avoid others if you are feeling sick.
        How should we clean workspaces if someone in our area becomes sick with flu-like symptoms?

        To prevent the spread of illness, disinfect commonly touched hard surfaces in the workplace by wiping them down with a household disinfectant according to directions on the product label. This includes countertops, doorknobs, telephones, copy machines, workstations, and bathroom surfaces. Studies have shown that flu viruses do not remain infectious on environmental surfaces for more than eight hours. Frequent hand washing is the best way to avoid infection from contaminated surfaces.

        MIT is cleaning all surfaces every day during the pandemic, but this shouldn’t prevent you from being extra cautious and keeping surfaces clean whenever possible.

        How do I know if I have the flu or COVID-19?

        The flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms, so it is hard to know which disease you may have contracted. In fact, most sources refer to COVID-19 symptoms as “flu-like symptoms.” To be sure, take an over-the-counter rapid COVID-19 test. Or call your primary care provider directly.

        If you are a Covid Pass participant and feel ill for any reason, list your symptoms on the Covid Pass app, then stay home and take an over-the-counter rapid test or come to MIT Medical for a PCR test.

        What if I have additional questions?

        Send an email to comments-fluinfo@mit.edu.