Flu Shots

Flu vaccines are now available at Student Health. Students can walk in anytime Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to obtain their vaccine. No appointment is necessary.

As part of the University of Miami's COVID-19 response, students, faculty, and staff on all campuses are required to receive the seasonal flu vaccine.

Students who obtain their flu vaccine outside Student Health (such as Walgreens, CVS or employee health) must upload proof via MyChart.

Students who wish to apply for a medical or religious exemption should have their medical provider or religious leader complete and sign the flu vaccine exemption form and upload the completed form via MyChart by October 31. You will receive a secure message regarding the exemption approval or denial via MyChart within 7 days of submission. 

The first and most important step in preventing flu is to get a flu vaccine each year. The flu vaccine has been shown to reduce flu-related illnesses and the risk of serious flu complications that can result in hospitalization or even death.

CDC also recommends everyday preventive actions (like staying away from people who are sick, covering coughs and sneezes, and frequent handwashing) to help slow the spread of germs that cause respiratory (nose, throat, and lungs) illnesses, like flu.

Flu Shot FAQ's

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  • What is influenza (flu)?

    Influenza, commonly called "the flu," is caused by the influenza virus, which infects the respiratory tract. The virus is typically spread from person to person when an infected person coughs or sneezes the virus into the air. Compared with other viral respiratory infections such as the common cold, influenza infection can cause severe illness and also precipitate serious and life-threatening complications. Typical clinical features include fever, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, muscle aches, and extreme fatigue.

  • Who should get a flu shot?

    The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot.

  • Is the flu vaccine effective immediately after a person receives the shot?

    It takes about 1 to 2 weeks after vaccination for antibodies against influenza to develop and provide protection.

  • How well does the vaccine work?

    The effectiveness of the flu vaccine in protecting individuals against illness or serious complications of the flu depends on primarily: 1) the age and health status of the person receiving the vaccine and 2) the similarity or "match" between the virus strains in the vaccine and those in circulation. When the "match" between the vaccine and circulating strains is close, the flu vaccine prevents illness in approximately 70%-80% of healthy persons younger than age 65 years.

  • When should I get vaccinated?

    As soon as the flu vaccine is available.

  • What are the side effects of the flu shot?

    By far, the most common side effect of the flu vaccine is local arm soreness and swelling. This is usually mild and does not prevent most persons from working. Serious side effects are uncommon. The viruses in a flu shot are killed (inactivated), so you cannot get flu from a flu shot.

  • Why must the flu vaccine be given every year?

    Influenza viruses are continually changing, which is why the viruses in the vaccine must be updated often. Vaccine for one year may not cover viruses circulating in the next season, and immunity developed one year may not last until through the following year's flu season.

  • How long is a person with the flu contagious?

    You may be able to spread the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick. People with flu are most contagious in the first 3-4 days after their illness begins. Some otherwise healthy adults may be able to infect others beginning 1 day before symptoms develop and up to 5 to 7 days after becoming sick. Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems might be able to infect others for an even longer time. 

  • How is the flu treated?

    Many people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. For more information on the treatment of the flu, review these recommendations. Anyone with chronic medical conditions, at high risk for complications of the flu, or with initially improving but subsequently worsening symptoms should seek care from the Student Health Service or other medical professionals.

More information about Seasonal Flu is available at www.cdc.gov/flu.