Campus News

September 20, 2011

Emory flu shot procedures vary by group

Avoiding a nasty cough, aches and chills this flu season is as easy as shopping for a gallon of milk under a new partnership between Emory and Kroger pharmacies to offer flu shots to University faculty and staff.

From Oct. 17 to Dec. 31, faculty and staff can visit any one of 126 metro-area Kroger pharmacies to receive protection against three flu virus strains, including the H1N1 virus that was declared a global pandemic in 2009.

Flu shots are free to benefits-eligible University faculty and staff who download a voucher beginning on Oct. 17 and present a photo ID at a Kroger pharmacy.

Non-benefits-eligible employees will receive the flu shot at a discounted price of $21, after downloading a coupon and bringing along a photo ID. No appointments are necessary, but employees are encouraged to schedule time outside of work to get vaccinated. To locate the nearest in-store pharmacy (not all Kroger stores have them), visit

Emory's Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) facilitates the University's flu shot vaccination effort annually. Administrators decided to discontinue on-campus clinics this year, after hearing feedback from employees about long lines and scheduling conflicts.

"Given the number of Kroger locations with extended hours, employees will have the ability to get flu shots at a time that's most convenient for them," says Melissa Morgan, interim manager of wellness programs for FSAP.

Flu vaccination procedures are different for Emory Healthcare employees and students. 

Emory Healthcare, which requires all of its employees, as well as any Emory University employee who works in a health care facility, to get annual flu shots, will continue to offer its own flu shot clinics known as "marathons" at various Emory hospital locations. View the complete Emory Healthcare schedule here (pdf). This year, Emory Healthcare employees will be required to pre-register through the e-Vantage online system.

 "The flu shot is the single most important line of defense in protecting you, your family and patients against spreading the flu virus," says Cynthia Hall, director of employee health for Emory Healthcare. "You never know when a bad flu season will hit."

From Oct. 3 to Dec. 15, University students will receive flu shots on a walk-in basis at Student Health Services from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expecting a fairly typical flu season but still recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older protect themselves with a flu shot. Flu shots are particularly important for individuals with asthma, heart disease, diabetes, chronic illnesses that weaken the immune system and for people over age 65. While the timing and severity of the flu can be unpredictable, the CDC recommends getting a flu shot as soon as it becomes available.

"Even in the ‘mildest' of flu seasons, influenza is a serious major respiratory illness," says Student Health Services Executive Director Michael Huey. "No one should have to go through the misery of having influenza, because it is vaccine preventable."

See a guide to flu shot procedures by group.

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