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Flu vaccine required for Salem State students

October 30, 2020

Dear Vikings, 

The Flu vaccine is now required for Salem State Students, as mandated by Governor Charlie Baker on Aug 18, 2020. This requirement applies to all students who plan to be on campus during the fall or spring semester this academic year. If you plan to be on campus for any reason, you are expected to have received your flu vaccine prior to December 31, 2020 or prior to being on campus, whichever occurs first. We will be enforcing this requirement when students return for the spring semester.

Who must comply?

  • The flu vaccine requirement applies to all full-time and part-time undergraduate and graduate students who will be on campus for any reason. 
  • The requirement includes individuals from outside the U.S. attending or visiting classes or educational programs in Massachusetts as part of an academic visitation or exchange program.
  • The only exception is for students who exclusively attend classes online and never visit campus in person.
  • College students who attend any classes or activities on campus, even once, must be vaccinated by December 31.
  • New students entering between January 1 and March 31, 2021 must have received their flu shot for entry.

Why is this important?

The annual flu vaccine is encouraged and highly recommended during non-pandemic years to decrease your risk of getting the flu and spreading it to vulnerable home and community members. The flu vaccine also decreases flu symptoms and shortens the length of the illness should you contract it.  This year, due to the pandemic and the similarity of symptoms between the flu and COVID-19, it is critical –  and required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts – that you get your flu vaccine in an effort to avoid preventable illnesses and hospitalizations, excessive COVID-19 and flu testing, and unnecessary isolation and quarantine.

What happens if I do not get my flu vaccine?

  • Receiving the flu vaccine will be required for residential students prior to moving back into the residence halls after winter break.
  • Any student who has on-campus classes and has not complied with this requirement will receive an additional immunization registration hold that will prevent the student from changing their classes during the add/drop period and registering for summer or fall classes.
  • Failure to comply will also limit students’ participation in sports practices and other on-campus activities.

How can students get the flu vaccine to comply with this requirement?

If you have not yet received your flu vaccine, there are plenty of on and off campus opportunities to do so! Please see the list below.

  • On-campus flu clinics: Tuesdays from 10 am – 4 pm through the end of November in the O’Keefe atrium. No appointment is necessary.
  • Appointments are available at counseling and health services via your health portal or by calling 978.542.6413.
  • CVS and other local pharmacies can provide a no-cost flu vaccine for most people.
  • Your primary care provider may also have appointments or upcoming flu clinics.
  • Note, if you receive your flu vaccine off campus, you must upload documentation of the vaccine into your health portal.

Reminder to comply with all the immunization requirements

Please also check your traditionally required immunization compliance on your health portal and turn in any missing documentation before spring registration. If you have not turned in all required immunization documentation and are not compliant, you now have a registration hold. We wish to help you avoid being delayed in your ability to register for classes. Please update your health portal as soon as possible before registration begins in early November. If you have questions or would like to schedule an in-person appointment to receive a missing vaccine, please call 978.542.6413.

Thank you for being proactive in keeping our community healthy during this very challenging year.

In health,

Kalei Ensminger, MSN, FNP-BC
Associate Director; Nurse Practitioner
Counseling and Health Services

Elisa Castillo, PhD
Associate Dean of Students for Wellness
Salem State University

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