Influenza Vaccinations for Duke University Staff and Faculty

 September 1, 2020

TO:Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Deans, Directors, Department Heads, and Managers
FROM:Sally Kornbluth, Provost and Jo Rae Wright University Professor
Kyle Cavanaugh, Vice President for Administration
Dr. Carol Epling, Director, Employee Occupational Health & Wellness
RE:Influenza Vaccinationsfor Duke University Staff and Faculty

The Duke community has shown remarkable dedication and resilience navigating the unprecedented challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. As we move forward, we must remain united in the face of another threat: the influenza virus. Because influenza presents similar symptoms to COVID-19, it is imperative that we do everything we can to lessen the effect influenza can have on overwhelming our COVID-19 health care response and exacerbating the presence of these respiratory illnesses in the community.

The vaccination against influenza is the best protection for our colleagues, students, patients, visitors and loved ones. Consistent with this belief and Duke’s core values, the flu vaccination will be required for Duke University staff and faculty working on-site to better protect our community from influenza in light of COVID-19.

All faculty and staff in the School of Medicine, School of Nursing and Duke University Health System are already required to get the annual vaccination against the influenza virus each year. The expansion this year to the rest of the university represents the next evolution in safeguarding our campus and the wider community from the influenza virus.

In an organization where health and safety are priorities, we believe this is the right thing to do. As a result, staff and faculty working on-site who choose not to be vaccinated and have not been approved for a medical or religious exemption will lose access to Duke’s buildings and facilities.

The following are key details:

  • There are at least six locations to receive a free flu vaccination. The full schedule, including locations, is available on Duke’s Fight the Flu website. Vaccinations can also be obtained at Duke Primary Care providers, area pharmacies and other locations, but documentation must be provided.
  • Unlike previous years, appointments are required for Duke’s vaccination locations due to COVID-19 physical distancing requirements.
  • Staff and faculty who wish to apply for a medical or religious exemption must have the required online forms completed and submitted no later than Monday, October 19, 2020.
  • The deadline for policy compliance either by being vaccinated or receiving an approved exemption is 10 a.m. Tuesday, November 10, 2020.

An organization as large as Duke University has a unique opportunity to create a safety net around our students and colleagues. Ultimately, the more people who are vaccinated, the more we maintain a safe university environment and community. Together, we can stop the flu.

For more information, including an FAQ, vaccination details for dependents, and an appointment schedule, please visit the Fight the Flu website.