Influenza Vaccination

Macalester College has established vaccination requirements for its students to maintain the health and safety of our community. This year, out of concern for the potential for very serious or life-threatening illness in the campus community caused by anticipated simultaneous widespread community transmission of both influenza and COVID-19, the college has added the influenza vaccine to its list of required vaccines.

Why should I get vaccinated?
Getting a flu vaccine is one of the most critical steps students and others can take to protect their own health and do their part in supporting their community during the global health crisis. By getting vaccinated for influenza, students will significantly decrease the chances that they will become ill with flu this fall, and also help ease the burden on the healthcare system, ensuring that those critically ill with COVID-19 and other life-threatening health concerns are able to receive the care they need.

When do students need to get the flu vaccine?
Students are required to receive their vaccine by December 1, 2020.

How can students get the flu vaccine?
Students can get their flu vaccine at retail pharmacies near campus (St. Paul Corner Drug, Walgreens, CVS, others), doctor’s offices/medical clinics, or at the Hamre Center for Health & Wellness via individual appointments on campus. The Hamre Center also offers flu-shot clinics during the semester.

What is the cost of the flu vaccine for students?
All ACA-compliant medical insurance plans, including the United Healthcare Student Resources (UHCSR) policy, cover influenza vaccination at 100%.

The cost on campus is $25**. Students who have insurance other than UHCSR and receive their vaccination at the Hamre Center will be billed $25 on their Macalester student account and will be provided with an itemized statement to submit to their insurance for reimbursement.  Students who have UHCSR and get their shot on campus will not see a charge as Macalester is able to submit the charge for them.

If any student has a financial barrier to getting an influenza vaccination, they should contact the Hamre Center to work out options.

How will students provide proof that they have received their flu shot (off-campus)?
Students who receive their vaccination on campus will automatically have it entered in their campus medical record. Students can report their off-campus influenza vaccination through their Macalester patient portal, where they also provide evidence of their other required vaccinations. Student will:

  • Record the date
  • Send verification of the vaccination (scan a receipt, statement) to health@macalester.edu. If you do not have access to a statement, send a personal statement that provides the approximate date of the vaccination and where you received it.

Does this apply to students who are taking classes remotely?
Any currently enrolled student who is in the United States must receive the vaccination.

Is this a permanent change to the immunization policy? Will students be required to get the flu vaccine from now on?
That is yet to be determined. The new requirement is based on the College’s assessment of the current situation in consultation with public health officials and will be revisited every season.

Will exemptions be allowed?
Medical exemption and conscientious exemption requests will be handled in accordance with procedures in the College’s immunization policy. The Policy establishes that any request for exemptions must be submitted to the medical director of the Hamre Center.  To receive an exemption form, call the Hamre Center at 651-696-6275 or email health@macalester.edu.

What happens if a student doesn’t get the vaccination?
Students that do not get a flu shot or who fail to record their vaccination from an off-campus provider will have a hold on their registration for the next module. This is the same protocol for any other required vaccination.

** cost for 2020-2021