We strongly encourage the Columbia community to take measures that safeguard their family, friends and colleagues during flu season. With just your Columbia University ID, you can receive a free flu shot. No appointments are needed - shots are provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
The most effective means to limit the spread of illness is to get a flu vaccine.
Flu Shots @ Medical Services
Columbia students, faculty, and staff on the Morningside Campus can receive a flu shot at Medical Services in John Jay Hall on a walk-in basis. Contact Medical Services at 212-854-7426 in advance to ensure we can accommodate your schedule. We provide free flu shots to members of the Columbia community on the Morningside Campus, but not to their dependents (children, spouses, or domestic partners).
The following University-affiliated members must receive their flu shot at their school, department or a private provider:
- Dependents of Columbia Morningside campus members - must receive their flu shot at a participating local pharmacy or health care provider in the community. (Note: Children under 18 years of age are covered for the flu vaccine under the Columbia Student Insurance Dependent Plan.)
- Barnard students, faculty, and staff - must get their flu shot at the Barnard College Primary Care Health Services
- CUMC students - must receive their flu shot at the CUMC Student Health Service
- CUMC faculty and staff - must receive their vaccine through Workforce Health & Safety (WH&S), on Milstein Hospital Building 2nd floor and in Harkness Pavilion on the 1st and 7th floors, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Coping with the Flu
Additional preventive measures include:
- Use good hand hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleansers are equally effective.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing.
- Try to avoid casually touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Avoid close contact, such as hugging or kissing, with others who are ill.
- If you become ill, limit your contact with others to keep from exposing them.
- Remain in your residence hall or at home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have fever (without the use of medications that reduce fever, like Motrin or Tylenol)
CDC Guidelines for Seasonal Flu Shot
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued universal guidance recommending all individuals six (6) months of age or older receive the seasonal flu shot. It is especially important for those in the following high-risk groups to receive a shot due to risk of serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk of developing flu-related complications:
- Pregnant women
- Children younger than five (5) years of age
- People 50 years of age or older
- People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (asthma, diabetes, etc.)
- People who live in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities
- People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from the flu, including:
- Healthcare workers
- Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications of the flu
- Household contacts or caregivers of children less than six (6) months old
The flu shot is generally safe and effective, and utilizes an inactivated flu vaccine, which contains killed viruses. The flu shot protects against three different flu viruses