Today's Update: Wednesday, October 7

October 7, 2020

Dear Student Life Team, It’s that time of year again—cold and flu season. Or, as Student Health Services Director Dr. Gladys Gibbs put it, “In the year that brought us COVID-19 and murder hornets, now we have a new invader to worry about: the flu.” 

This year, more than ever, it’s important to get vaccinated. I join Dr. Gibbs, the folks at the Wexner Medical Center and all the other experts in strongly encouraging you to get your flu shot, hopefully you saw our message earlier today. 

There is a real possibility this year of being exposed to both COVID-19 and the flu, and none of us want that dangerous combination. There is also the matter of straining our health care system, especially since some symptoms are similar, which could prompt more people to seek testing.  

There are steps you can take to prevent getting the flu, and the good news is that you should already be taking them. You greatly reduce your chance of getting the flu by doing the same things you are doing to stay safe from COVID-19: wearing a mask, physical distancing, frequent and thorough hand washing, coughing into the crook of your elbow, staying home when sick and limiting contact with people who are infected. 

Getting a flu shot is easy, and most insurance carriers cover it at no cost to you. Getting it now should keep you protected into spring, so this is a good time to get it done.  

The vaccine is available at pharmacies including Wexner Medical Center pharmacies in The James, University Hospital or East Hospital, or at many grocery stores. If you are an Ohio State primary care patient, you can schedule a drive-through appointment to get the vaccine.  

There will also be a number of flu shot clinics on campus this fall provided by the Wexner Medical Center. You can log into (see “find appointments”) to sign up for a date and time. Several of the clinics will be in the Creative Arts Room of the Ohio Union. Upcoming dates include October 13, 15 and 28, each from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with more days likely to be added later.  

Use a face mask, physically distance and engage in good hand hygiene to help protect yourself from both the flu and COVID-19. And the best protection against the flu is vaccination. Get your flu shot. It may not help with Murder Hornets, but it’s the Scarlet and Great way to avoid the flu.