FAQ: Flu

Do I need a flu vaccine every year if I am wearing a mask and physically distancing from others?

Yes. It is essential that everyone who can get a flu vaccine takes the time to do so. Flu is always a dangerous disease, but it can be even more deadly when combined with the risks associated with COVID-19. 

Is MIT Health offering on-campus flu vaccines this year?

Every year, MIT Health offers walk-in flu clinics on campus and at Lincoln Laboratory. Schedules and eligibility information is available on our Flu Information page 

How many flu vaccinations do I need each year?

Adults will need just one vaccination. Children between 6 months and 9 years of age who are getting a flu vaccination for the first time will need two doses, spaced at least a month apart. 

Who is eligible to get a flu vaccine at an MIT walk-in clinic or at MIT Health?

Flu vaccines are available to: 
  • Enrolled students living on or off campus 
  • All non-students living on campus, including family members 
  • All MIT employees and contractors with an MIT ID 
  • Individuals who have had at least one appointment with an MIT Health primary care provider, including family members 

I need to file a medical or religious exemption to the flu shot. How do I do that?

MIT Health does not provide vaccine exemption forms. You’ll need to process your vaccine exemption from the entity requiring you to get the flu vaccine. Flu vaccines are not required for students this year, but they are very strongly encouraged.

How should we clean workspaces if someone in our area becomes sick with flu-like symptoms?

To prevent the spread of illness, disinfect commonly touched hard surfaces in the workplace by wiping them down with a household disinfectant according to directions on the product label. This includes countertops, doorknobs, telephones, copy machines, workstations, and bathroom surfaces. Studies have shown that flu viruses do not remain infectious on environmental surfaces for more than eight hours. Frequent hand washing is the best way to avoid infection from contaminated surfaces.

How do I know if I have the flu or COVID-19?

The flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms, so it is hard to know which disease you may have contracted. In fact, most sources refer to COVID-19 symptoms as “flu-like symptoms.” To be sure, take an over-the-counter rapid COVID-19 test or call your primary care provider for advice.

What if I have additional questions?

Send an email to comments-fluinfo@mit.edu.