JHU flu vaccine program and requirements

September 24, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

While we are all taking active measures to stay safe and protect the health of others in our community amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more crucial than ever to get vaccinated against the seasonal flu, which can have its own serious and disruptive effects and which has symptoms similar to those of COVID-19.  Every member of the Johns Hopkins community is strongly urged to get a flu shot, and many of us are required to do so. The university has set up several ways to make the process easy and cost-free.

This year, anyone who is currently spending time on a Johns Hopkins campus will be required to have a flu vaccination or an approved exemption for the 2020–21 academic year by Nov. 20. This policy will continue to apply when we are able to expand campus activity in the future, so even if you are working completely remotely now, you will likely find it helpful to get a flu shot and document compliance with the university, as described below. 

If you are an affiliate of the School of Medicine or a health system employee, please refer instead to the Johns Hopkins Medicine policy and guidance on the Health, Safety, and Environment website.

You have several options:

  • All full- and part-time employees can get a free flu shot at any Walgreens pharmacy anywhere in the United States using the voucher provided by Johns Hopkins. You will need to be on the Johns Hopkins network or VPN to access the document. This voucher will also allow Walgreens to automatically inform Johns Hopkins that you have been vaccinated, and no additional action will be necessary. 
  • Anyone covered by the Johns Hopkins CareFirst or EHP health plan can get a flu shot at no cost from any in-network Express Scripts pharmacy, which includes most major pharmacies, or from their in-network primary care physician. Kaiser Permanente participants should make an appointment with their primary care physician. If you choose this option, Hopkins will not be automatically informed, so please obtain documentation from the provider to submit to Occupational Health when the time comes to return to on-campus activity. 
  • For affiliates who are currently working on one of our campuses, there will be a limited number of on-site flu vaccination clinics. You can check the schedule and sign up for an appointment on the HSE website. Please note that all on-site vaccination clinics this year are by appointment only, in order to ensure proper physical distancing and other protective measures. If you are currently working remotely, we encourage you to take advantage of the Walgreens partnership, your local pharmacy, or your physician’s office instead. 

Additional information, including details about religious or medical exemptions, is on the HR website. Thank you for taking this important step for your health and to reduce the risks our community is facing at this difficult time. 


Heidi Conway
Vice President for Human Resources