The return of fall also means the return of flu season.
To help reduce the impact of the flu — especially with the added risks of the COVID-19 pandemic — the University Health Center is again offering flu shots to the campus community. The offering includes on-campus clinics for students.
Faculty and staff may also use the University Health Center, or one of the University of Nebraska’s CVS Caremark in-network sites, with many employees qualifying for a zero-dollar co-pay. Flu shots for students through the University Health Center are free.
Keep reading to learn more about this year’s flu shot options, and find answers to questions you may have about how COVID-19 may impact this year’s flu season.
Students can get a free flu shot by reserving a time to attend a student flu shot clinic or by making an appointment at the health center.
Flu shot clinics on City Campus are 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in October (starting Oct. 7). The City Campus clinics will be held in the Campus Recreation Center to allow for proper social distancing. The East Campus clinic is 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 13 in the East Union.
For everyone’s safety, pre-registration is required to attend a student flu shot clinic. Spots are available on a first come, first served basis. Students can reserve a time slot at one of these clinics using this link or utilize the QR code below.
The health center offers flu shot appointments 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. Call 402-472-5000 to schedule. For everyone’s safety appointments are required, and walk-ins will not be accepted.
No matter whether students get their flu shot by appointment at the health center or by attending a student flu shot clinic, they will need to bring their NCard and a completed 2020-21 flu shot form.
Parental permission is required for students who are 18 or younger to receive their flu shot. Health center staff can call a parent or guardian at check-in, or if they are 18 years old, they may bring a completed power of attorney form to the appointment. If they already have a power of attorney form on file at the health center, there is no need to submit a duplicate form. Power of attorney forms are not valid for 17-year-olds; health center staff must call a parent or guardian for permission to give these students a flu shot at check-in.
Faculty and Staff
If you are working on campus, for your convenience, flu shots are available by appointment at the University Health Center during regular business hours. For everyone’s safety, faculty and staff should schedule an appointment in advance of their visit by calling 402-472-5000. At this time, the health center is not offering the high dose (65+) flu vaccine.
When faculty and staff arrive for a scheduled appointment, they should bring their NCard and a completed 2020-21 flu shot form.
Flu shots given at the University Health Center have a charge for faculty and staff, but are eligible to be submitted through insurance. Employees who completed the Health Risk Assessment last year may have no out-of-pocket cost for shots at a medical provider, those who do not wish to utilize insurance can pay for the treatment on site.
Employees who completed the Health Risk Assessment last year will have no out-of-pocket cost for shots processed through their insurance at participating CVS Caremark in-network pharmacies, including but not limited to Nebraska Medicine clinics, CVS pharmacy locations, Walgreens pharmacy locations and HyVee pharmacy locations. For a more comprehensive list of participating pharmacies, visit the CVS Caremark website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will the flu shot protect me against COVID-19?
No, the flu shot does not protect against the coronavirus, yet it does have many important health benefits. It can reduce your risk of getting the flu, which can help conserve potentially scarce health care resources. Learn more from the CDC.
What safety precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at student flu shot clinics?
• We moved our student flu shot clinics out of the University Health Center and to larger spaces, the Campus Recreation gym and East Campus Union. We will allow up to 50% capacity in these spaces to allow us to follow infection control processes and to maintain physical distancing. • Our staff are required to wear face coverings and other personal protective equipment to keep you and themselves safe. • All student flu shot clinic attendees are required to reserve an appointment. This allows us to maintain control of the environment and correctly follow infection prevention guidelines. • All student flu shot clinic attendees are required to wear a mask or face covering at our flu clinics. If you do not have an appropriate mask, we will provide one for you. • All student flu shot clinic attendees will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before entering the clinic area. People with symptoms will be asked to reschedule their appointments. • Flu shot stations will be thoroughly disinfected after each patient. • There will be a separate entrance and exit into the student flu shot clinic to maintain one-way foot traffic. • Student flu shot clinic attendees are not allowed to bring guests to their flu shot appointments, with exceptions for interpreters and personal care attendants.
Why should I get vaccinated?
Influenza is a common but serious disease. Getting the flu could not only impact your academic pursuits, but in some cases lead to hospitalization and death. An annual flu shot is the best way to protect yourself and others. Check out these flu shot benefits from the CDC.
When should I get vaccinated?
The CDC recommend people get vaccinated in September or October. Getting vaccinated later is still beneficial, even into January or later. Keep in mind, the shot takes two weeks to be effective.
How do flu shots work?
The flu shot creates antibodies that protect you against infection. The quadrivalent flu shot offered at the University Health Center protects against four common flu viruses.
Why do I need a flu shot annually?
A flu shot is needed every season because the body’s immune response to the shot declines over time and needs an annual shot to provide proper protection. It’s also important because flu viruses constantly change, and the flu shot is updated accordingly each year.
Can the flu vaccine give me the flu?
No, a flu vaccine does not cause flu illness, but it can occasionally cause side effects such as a low grade fever, aches and soreness or swelling where the shot was given. However, these effects are short-lasting and mild compared to the flu.
For more information about the flu or flu shots, visit the CDC website.