LOS ANGELES - For the second year in a row, the University of Southern California is going one step further to protect its students and staff against the flu, announcing a new mandate requiring all USC students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated against influenza prior to Nov. 1.
"This requirement will help mitigate the potential simultaneous impact of flu and COVID-19 during the seasonal flu timeframe in the fall/winter months," USC said in its announcement.
School officials said that all USC students taking in-person classes or living in university-owned residences for the fall 2021 semester are required to complete immunization for influenza. Students living in off-campus residences and taking classes remotely are also "strongly encouraged to get a flu vaccine," the school wrote.
The school says that students can make an appointment to get vaccinated for the flu in MySHR under "Immunizations." Flu vaccine compliance will be reflected in Trojan Check, the university said.
Students will also be offered a flu shot during in-person appointments at the Engemann and Eric Cohen Student Health Centers. Flu shots are a covered benefit of the SHIP/Aetna health care plan; for students on other plans, there is a $20 charge.
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Students who are unable to take a vaccine are required to complete a student exemption form. Exemption forms are available for medical and religious exemptions.
In its announcement, the university also provided students with information on COVID-19 booster shots. Noting that booster shots are available to those over the age of 65 as well as high-risk individuals who may have underlying health conditions. Boosters are also available for those who work in professions that place them at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure, including health care workers, first responders, teachers and day care staff, grocery workers, and workers in homeless shelters or prisons.
Back in April, USC announced that it was requiring all students, faculty and staff returning for on-campus classes and activities in the fall to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to the university, 94% of all USC campus communities—faculty, staff, and students—are fully vaccinated.
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