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New mandatory flu immunization policy at UMMS

UMass Medical School Communications

November 16, 2020

(Originally published on Sept. 14, 2020)
This year, all UMMS employees who plan to enter any of the medical school buildings for even one day from Oct. 1, 2020 through April 1, 2021, and all UMMS students, are required to receive a flu vaccine by Dec. 15, 2020.
The medical school’s new policy aligns with Gov. Baker’s flu immunization requirement of flu vaccines for all students and is in the best interests of public health and a safe working and learning environment.

Free Flu Clinics at UMMS

UMMS will offer influenza vaccinations free of charge to all employees and students as follows:

  • For UMMS employees and students who are currently on-site and have been participating in the COVID-19 weekly surveillance testing protocol since August 17, flu fairs will be held beginning later this month in the Old Medical School Lobby. A scheduling link will be e-mailed to this group in the coming days.
  • All other UMMS students and employees who currently work on-site at least one day per week but have not been participating in the COVID-19 weekly surveillance testing protocol since August 17 can make an appointment to receive a flu vaccine either at the Old Medical School Lobby, by clicking here, or at Knowles Hall, Memorial Hospital, by clicking here

Please know:

  • Flu shots will be given by appointment only; no drop-ins are allowed.
  • After scheduling your vaccination, you will receive a confirmation email (if you do not receive it, please check your junk folder).
  • Have your ID badge and driver’s license with you during your appointment.

UMMS Employees Working Remotely

We appreciate that many UMMS employees will continue to work remotely for the foreseeable future. The flu vaccine is strongly recommended.  Planning is underway to host UMMS-sponsored flu vaccine clinics at our South Street Campus this fall, and further details for remote workers will be forthcoming soon. Employees may also consult their primary care physician or another local provider (e.g. pharmacy) to receive a flu vaccine.

Proof of Vaccination Obtained Elsewhere & Exemptions

Individuals who receive a flu vaccine through services other than Employee or Student Health Services (e.g. physician’s office or pharmacy) must provide proof of immunization to EHS/SHS by Dec. 15, 2020. Proof of immunization may be submitted in one of the following ways:

  • Email a photo or pdf of your proof of vaccination to employeeflumailbox@umassmemorial.org or StudentHealth@umassmemorial.org -OR-
  • Mail to UMass Memorial Medical Center Employee Health Services, 291 Lincoln Street, Suite 100, Worcester, MA 01605 –OR–
  • Drop off at one of the drop boxes located on University campus outside the cafeteria; on Hahnemann campus near elevator A on the first floor; or on Memorial campus at the cafeteria entrance.

Individuals who have a medical contraindication must submit written documentation from a health care provider using this form to Employee Health Services employeeflumailbox@umassmemorial.org or Student Health Services StudentHealth@umassmemorial.org by Dec. 1, 2020 for their request to be considered. Individuals who have concerns about vaccination due to deeply held religious beliefs should contact Matthew Lyford in UMMS Human Resources by email matthew.lyford@umassmed.edu or phone 508-856-4194.

Other Infectious Illnesses at UMMS

While COVID-19 is at the forefront of our minds, it is not the only infectious illness about which we are concerned. As children return to school, we anticipate increased gastrointestinal illnesses, colds and sore throats. A few important facts:

  1. If you develop any symptoms, do not come to work or to the testing site in the Faculty Conference Room.
  2. If symptoms persist for more than a day, call EHS at 508-793-6400. EHS may order a COVID-19 test, which would be performed at the drive through tent on the first level of the Sherman Center garage.
  3. Wash your hands with soap and water as much as possible. Many viruses, including those that cause gastrointestinal illnesses, are resistant to alcohol-based sanitizer. Prevent the spread and use soap instead!

This video outlines the health and safety practices that remain in effect at UMMS. All coronavirus-related campus information can be found at https://www.umassmed.edu/coronavirus/.