The Makings of a Successful Mass Flu Vaccination Campaign

Each year, Columbia Health upholds its commitment to the health of the Columbia community by hosting a week-long, no-cost flu vaccination clinic open to all Columbia affiliates.

Columbia Health
December 11, 2023

Columbia Health upholds its commitment to the health of Columbia students, faculty, and staff by hosting the annual “Flu Fair” campaign: a week-long, no-cost flu vaccination clinic open to all Columbia affiliates. Columbia Health strives to improve processes from the year prior, seen in key areas of communication and marketing, efficiency, and location for affiliates. 

Centralized and accessible locations

With a focus on accessibility and convenience, the Flu Fair was held at Lerner Hall (Morningside) for 4 days and 1 day at Geffen Hall (Manhattanville). Both buildings are centrally located within their respective campuses and easily reachable for all members of the university community. 

Effective communication and informed experience

All Columbia community members received communications via social media, newsletters, word of mouth at orientation events, and posters placed throughout campus. By informing the audience early, the expectations were set for a successful flu fair, where health professionals and trained staff provided not only vaccinations but also valuable information about the importance of flu prevention. 

Efficiency down to the minute

A meticulously organized operation, the Flu Fair managed an efficient walk-in structure that minimized wait times and ensured a smooth vaccination process. Most patients experienced a wait of no more than a few minutes if any at all.


By the numbers

This year, Columbia Health administered a total of 7,392 flu shots at the Flu Fair. 

7,392 flu shots administered

Breakdown of the population of those vaccinated at the Flu Fair: Students (6,202) and non-students (faculty/staff, dependents) (1,190).

This effort was made possible by the 36 individuals supporting the flu fair: 20 nurses, 3 providers offering clinical support, 5 IT colleagues, 4 line managers, and 4 administrative staff. The Flu Fair was open 40 hours, over 5 days. 

The Annual Flu Fair exemplifies Columbia Health's dedication to creating a healthy campus community by fostering an environment that facilitates well-being among its community members. 

How to get a flu vaccine 

Students can get flu vaccines off-campus at a nearby pharmacy. Students on the Columbia Student Health Insurance Plan can get a flu vaccine at their local pharmacy or primary care provider with no co-payment unless a high-dose flu vaccine is requested.   

Students can get flu vaccines on-campus by scheduling a nursing appointment with Medical Services by calling 212-854-7426. Students who have an upcoming appointment for an unrelated matter are encouraged to request their flu shot from their provider to receive it during the same visit. 

CUIMC students: please visit Student Health on Haven's website for additional information on how to receive your flu shot. 

Faculty, staff, and non-affiliates are encouraged to check with their insurance company to find out if they must go to a specific facility to receive the vaccine. Some insurance plans only cover vaccines given by a doctor or at a limited set of locations.