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Columbia Health strongly encourages students, faculty, and staff to take preventive measures to limit the spread of flu. The most effective means is to get a flu shot.

Click on the links below for more information about flu shots at Columbia and additional flu information.

Flu Shots @ Medical Services

Columbia students, faculty, and staff on the Morningside Campus may receive a free flu shot by scheduling an appointment at Medical Services in John Jay Hall (appointment is required).

We provide free flu shots to members of the Columbia community on the Morningside Campus, but not to their dependents (children, spouses, or domestic partners).

Flu shots are provided at many locations on campus during flu season.  Please continue to watch this website for more information and look for signs on campus designating the time and place.

Barnard students must receive the annual flu shot at Barnard Primary Care Health Service. CUMC students should receive the flu shot at the CUMC Student Health Service.

Coping with the Flu

Additional preventive measures include:

  • Use good hand hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleansers are equally effective.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing.
  • Try to avoid casually touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Avoid close contact, such as hugging or kissing, with others who are ill.
  • If you become ill, limit your contact with others to keep from exposing them.
    • Remain in your residence hall or at home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have fever (without the use of medications that reduce fever, like Motrin or Tylenol)

CDC Guidelines for Seasonal Flu Shot

As you may know, a large portion of the U.S., including New York City, has confirmed increased levels of influenza (flu) and influenza-like illness (ILI) in recent weeks.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued universal guidance recommending all individuals six (6) months of age or older receive the seasonal flu shot. It is especially important for those in the following high-risk groups to receive a shot due to risk of serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk of developing flu-related complications:
  • Pregnant women
  • Children younger than five (5) years of age
  • People 50 years of age or older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (asthma, diabetes, etc.)
  • People who live in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from the flu, including:
    • Healthcare workers
    • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications of the flu
    • Household contacts or caregivers of children less than six (6) months old

The flu shot is generally safe and effective, and utilizes an inactivated flu vaccine, which contains killed viruses. The flu shot protects against three different flu viruses.


Last updated April 23, 2014