Get A Free Flu Vaccine with Your Columbia ID

What you need to know about getting your flu shot this fall.

September 17, 2020

Columbia Health has long recognized that getting vaccinated against the influenza (flu) is the best way to protect ourselves and our family, friends, and colleagues from the flu. Getting a flu vaccine this fall will be more important than ever, not only to reduce your risk from the flu, but also to help conserve potentially limited healthcare resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Who should get the flu shot? 

Columbia Health is providing flu vaccines to students, faculty, and staff on the Morningside Campus (excluding Barnard and CUIMC affiliates*) this Fall, free of charge. The flu vaccine is mandatory for students coming on to campus this academic year (and must be obtained before October 30, 2020 or prior to arriving on campus), and is strongly recommended for all other members of the Columbia community.  

For those over 65 years of age, only the regular dose flu vaccine is available through Columbia Health at this time. For those wishing to get the high dose vaccine, please check with your primary care clinician or local pharmacy.

*Barnard and CUIMC affiliates should contact their respective campuses for flu vaccine opportunities. 

Why get the flu shot? 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene recommend getting an annual influenza vaccine, or “flu shot”, as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza. The flu vaccine is a protective measure-- you cannot get the flu from it. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, a flu vaccine provides individual health benefits, including keeping you from getting sick with flu, reducing the severity of your illness if you do get a different strain of the flu, and reducing your risk of a flu-associated hospitalization. 

Where to get the flu shot? 

Flu vaccines are now available in Lerner Hall, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Appointments are required to ensure physical distancing and most can easily make an appointment via the online patient portal. Appointments are being added regularly so please check back if your first choice of date and time is not available. Generally, appointments are available 10-14 days in advance.   

Visit the Flu Season Information page for more information.