November 11, 2020

Receiving flu vaccination crucial during pandemic

Flu season is in full swing and the most important step you can take to keep yourself, your family and community healthy this year is to get vaccinated.


by Kylie Avery

Flu season is in full swing and the most important step you can take to keep yourself, your family and community healthy this year is to get vaccinated. Receiving a flu vaccination helps reduce your risk of flu and protects you from spreading it to others who are more susceptible to illness.

The flu vaccine can take up to two weeks after being administered to provide full protection, so it is recommended to obtain it as early as possible to ensure the greatest protection throughout the entire flu season. For Vanderbilt University Medical Center faculty and staff, the deadline for flu vaccination or approved flu exemption is Dec. 1.

“During an unprecedented time, due to COVID-19 and flu season coinciding, it’s incredibly important to implement healthy practices and behaviors that strengthen your immune system. Receiving a flu shot annually is a proactive approach to staying healthy throughout the coming season,” said Paul Sternberg Jr., MD, Chief Medical Officer for the Vanderbilt Medical Group and Chief Patient Experience Officer for VUMC.

FLUla-2-Uza makes getting your flu immunization easy and convenient. VUMC faculty and staff have several options as to where to receive their flu vaccination. Employees working on-campus can visit the Occupational Health Clinic (OHC) locations on main campus or at One Hundred Oaks, attend an OHC on-site event anywhere across campus or in their department, or utilize the Peer Vaccination Program to get vaccinated right in their unit.

For those working remotely, flu vaccination can be obtained at convenient locations in the community, including the Vanderbilt Health Walk-in Clinics or Vanderbilt Health Clinics at Walgreens. Reporting your off-campus vaccine documentation can be done securely online. Visit OHC’s Employee Influenza Vaccine Program website for full details and check out the searchable “OHC Comes to You” calendar for a list of all on-site event locations.

To accommodate the greatest number of individuals receiving the vaccine, VUMC is offering multiple options: the standard Quadrivalent (four-component) vaccine, the egg-free flu vaccine for those with egg allergies, and a high-dose flu vaccine. The high-dose vaccine contains four times the standard dose and can provide greater protection from flu in populations ages 65 and over.

VUMC’s flu campaigns have always aimed to create a fun and community-focused health initiative, and this year’s FLula-2-Uza campaign is no different. Although we may not all be gathering in one place this year due to COVID-19, we are still working together to accomplish the essential goal of creating greater community immunity through mass vaccination.

“The purpose of our flu campaign every year is to be a convenient resource for our faculty and staff. Cultivating a community of peer encouragement where we are reinforcing the importance of receiving their vaccine means that every member of VUMC is involved in keeping one another healthy,” said Lori Rolando, MD, MPH, director of the Vanderbilt Occupational Health Clinic.

Share a selfie sporting your FLUla-2-Uza sticker after your vaccination and tag @WellVanderbilt with #FLUla2Uza to join in on the fun and explore pictures of all our faculty and staff.

VUMC’s “Department Honor Roll” webpage will recognize departments whose employees all received their flu shot or an approved exemption. Encourage those you work with to roll up their sleeve and get vaccinated so your department can land on the Honor Roll for FLUla-2-Uza 2020.