Fight the Flu

Frequently Asked Questions

Vaccination Against Influenza 2020-21

Who must receive the annual vaccination against influenza?

The vaccination against influenza is the best protection for our colleagues, students, patients, visitors and loved ones. Consistent with this belief and Duke’s core values, the flu vaccination will be required for Duke University staff and faculty working on-site to better protect our community from influenza in light of COVID-19.

All faculty and staff in the School of Medicine, School of Nursing and Duke University Health System are already required to get the annual vaccination against the influenza virus each year. The expansion this year to the rest of the university represents the next evolution in safeguarding our campus and the wider community from the influenza virus.

When is the compliance deadline for vaccination?

The 2020 deadline for policy compliance either by being vaccinated or receiving an approved exemption is 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020.

May I apply for an exemption?

Yes. Applications for medical or religious exemptions for staff and faculty should be submitted before Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. This will allow for sufficient time for review of the application and the decision determination prior to the compliance deadline.

What happens if I do not comply with the deadline and do not have an approved medical or religious exemption?

Duke University Health System, School of Medicine, and School of Nursing faculty and staff who choose not to be vaccinated or otherwise do not declare an acceptable exemption face disciplinary action or the equivalent up to and including termination from employment. All other University faculty and staff will lose access to Duke buildings and facilities if they are not vaccinated or have an approved exemption.

Why is Duke requiring a vaccine against influenza?

According to the Centers for Disease Control, influenza (Flu) and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a new coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and flu is caused by infection with an influenza virus.

Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, it may be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. An outbreak of influenza due to low community vaccination rates could result in emergency rooms and clinics being overwhelmed while already responding to COVID-19 and an increased chance of spreading both respiratory illnesses in the community. Further, getting infected with a combination of COVID-19 and influenza, or getting one right after the other, could damage your overall health.

Being vaccinated annually against the flu is in alignment with Duke University Health System’s core value of “caring for our patients, their loved ones and each other.” And, in the wake of COVID-19, the vaccination will also help limit the spread of influenza among students, faculty and staff working on campus.

Where can I get the flu vaccine?

Unlike previous years, appointments are required for Duke’s vaccination locations due to COVID-19 physical distancing requirements.

Beginning on Sept. 1, 2020 through Nov. 10, 2020, appointments for Duke employees will be available at vaccination clinic locations on-and-off campus, including at Duke’s Employee Occupational Health & Wellness (EOHW) clinic in Duke South adjacent to West Campus. For locations and hours, see the flu.duke.edu website. Vaccinations can also be obtained at Duke Primary Care providers, area pharmacies and other locations, but documentation must be provided.

Children and other dependents of Duke employees cannot get a flu vaccine at the locations offering vaccinations to Duke University and Health System employees and students. They must make an appointment to get a flu vaccine at a Duke Primary Care location or other vaccination providers.

Is there a charge for the flu vaccine?

No. Employees can get their flu vaccine for free at any Duke Employee Occupational Health & Wellness-sponsored vaccination clinic.

There is no copay for children and other dependents of Duke employees covered by a Duke health plan at certain Duke Primary Care locations unless the patient sees a healthcare provider for a clinic visit.

What do I need to bring with me when I get vaccinated?

You must wear a face covering and bring a valid DukeCard ID and smartphone, if you own one. The smartphone will allow for faster registration. If you do not have a smartphone, you can use a device provided at the vaccination site.

Please arrive at your scheduled appointment time. If you arrive early, do not check-in before your appointment time.

Do I need to complete the daily symptom survey before arriving at a Duke Employee Occupational Health & Wellness-sponsored location for my vaccine?

Employees should complete their daily symptom monitoring survey before arriving at an Employee Occupational Health & Wellness-sponsored location for vaccination. University staff and faculty will fill out the symptom monitoring from through the “SymMon” mobile app. Health System employees must complete the symptom monitoring form through the “HealthCheck” mobile app. If you have not completed your daily symptom monitoring, you will undergo symptom screening when you present for your vaccination.

Employees and dependents who make an appointment for a vaccine at a Duke Primary Care location will be screened on-site when they arrive. 

What if I get vaccinated against the flu outside of Duke?

If you have been vaccinated outside of Duke Employee Occupational Health or one of the EOHW-sponsored sites and not by the Duke peer vaccination program, you must submit official documentation of flu vaccination. See flu.duke.edu for more information on outside vaccination reporting.

Students can also submit documentation of external vaccination to Student Health via immunizations@duke.edu​.

Can my dependents get a flu vaccine?

Yes. Children and other dependents of Duke employees covered by a Duke health plan can make an appointment to get a flu vaccine at certain Duke Primary Care locations. There is no copay for the vaccination or visit unless the patient sees a healthcare provider.

Call 1-855-372-1981 to make an appointment.

What viruses will the 2020-21 flu vaccines protect against?

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are many different flu viruses and they are constantly changing. The composition of U.S. flu vaccines is reviewed annually and updated as needed to match circulating flu viruses. This year’s flu vaccine contains:

  • A/Guangdong-Maonan/SWL1536/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
  • A/Hong Kong/2671/2019 (H3N2)-like virus
  • B/Washington/02/2019-like virus (B/Victoria lineage)
  • B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (B/Yamagata lineage)

Visit the CDC website for more information on the 2020-21 vaccines.

For additional information about the flu and COVID-19, please visit the CDC website.