Flu vaccine required for all students this academic year

On Tuesday, Sept. 7, Vice President for Student Life Jon Dooley shared details about the university's requirement that all students receive a flu vaccine or receive a medical/religious exemption.

Dear Students,

This summer, Elon University announced that all students are required to receive a flu vaccine for the 2021-2022 academic year, or receive a medical/religious exemption. The deadline date to receive the flu vaccine or exemption has been set for Friday, October 29, 2021.

The university implemented a flu vaccine requirement for the first time last year, based on the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to avoid the strain on resources as hospitals and medical providers focused on COVID. While Elon would normally experience hundreds of cases of the annual flu diagnosed at Student Health Services, last year the combination of flu vaccine and COVID-related healthy practices reduced that number to one case.

This year the flu vaccine requirement at Elon comes at the recommendation of the CDC, and you can read more about the guidance here.

In order to meet the October 29 deadline, students are encouraged to receive their vaccine or apply for an exemption as soon as possible and not wait until the end of October to take action. Instructions can be found below.

Receiving the Vaccine at an On-Campus Clinic

  • Register for an appointment at an on-campus clinic. In the coming weeks, Campus Recreation and Wellness and the Office of the Dean of Students will offer a series of clinics on campus, with thousands of appointment times available. View the list of dates and register for an appointment time here. The list will be updated as additional clinics are scheduled. Registration is recommended, but walk-ups will also be accepted as space is available.
    • The first flu vaccine clinic will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, September 8, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Moseley Center, McKinnon E.
    • Health Sciences students, note the clinic scheduled at the Francis Center this Friday, September 10.
    • Upcoming clinics will also be scheduled at Elon Law in Greensboro.
  • Bring your health insurance card with you to the appointment time. The staff at the clinic will directly bill your insurance for the flu shot. Elon University will cover out-of-pocket costs not covered by students’ insurance at all on-campus clinics. Students who do not have health insurance should contact Dr. Jana Lynn Patterson at patters@elon.edu for instructions.
  • Elon will complete your documentation for you. Students who receive their flu vaccine at an on-campus clinic do not need to take any action to document their completion of the flu vaccine requirement; it will be handled automatically.

Receiving the Vaccine at an Off-Campus Clinic or Pharmacy

  • Identify a location to receive the vaccine. If you prefer to go to an off-campus clinic or pharmacy, flu shots are widely available at this time of year.
  • Bring your health insurance card with you. Most flu vaccines are fully covered by insurance. Students are responsible for any out-of-pocket costs associated with flu vaccines at off-campus pharmacies or clinics.
  • Upload your documentation. Students receiving a flu vaccine at an off-campus pharmacy or clinic will need to upload their proof of vaccination on their Phoenix Health Portal.

Requesting a Medical or Religious Exemption to the Flu Vaccine Requirement

Similar to the process used with the COVID-19 vaccine requirement this year, the university will grant medical and religious exemptions to the seasonal flu vaccine requirement. Instructions and the link for filing a request for exemption are available here.

  • Medical exemptions: The request must include a statement attesting that the student has been advised by their medical provider it is not safe for them to receive the flu vaccine. Documentation from the provider is not required, but the student must consult with their medical provider prior to submitting the request.
  • Religious exemptions: The request must include a brief personal statement indicating why receiving the flu vaccine is in contradiction to sincerely held religious beliefs.

Requests for such exemptions must be filed no later than the October 29, 2021 deadline, although we encourage students to submit the request as soon as possible. Note that waivers granted last year for the flu vaccine or this year for the COVID-19 vaccine are not automatically applied to the current year flu vaccine requirement; students with prior exemptions will need to submit a new, updated exemption request.

Most questions can be answered with information from the website links provided above, but additional questions can be directed to Dr. Jana Lynn Patterson, Associate Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, at patters@elon.edu.

Dr. Jon Dooley

Vice President for Student Life