Flu shots now available on campus and at MUSC Health Primary Care offices

October 14, 2020
The flu shot is being recommended for everyone, six months and older. Photo by Heather Hazan, SELF Magazine

MUSC faculty and staff can receive flu shots now through December at a number of locations, including MUSC Employee Health Services, on-campus satellite events, various MUSC Health Primary Care offices and drive-thru events. Flu shots will also be available at  outpatient pharmacy and clinic locations. MUSC students can receive the flu shot at Student Health Services at 30 Bee Street. No appointment is necessary.

MUSC Health-Charleston and MUSC Physicians care team members are required to have the influenza vaccine or submit a declination by midnight, Dec. 14. View a schedule and list of locations here.

Additionally, MUSC mobile unit-based rounding will occur at various locations beginning Oct. 20 through Nov. 5. View the schedule here.

To schedule an appointment for a flu shot at any of the 21 Tri-county primary care locations, participants can schedule an appointment in advance via MyChart or by visiting this webpage. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, clinics will require participants to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Those interested in getting the vaccine must bring their MUSC photo IDs and insurance cards. Participants will be registered in Epic, and their insurance will be billed. Many insurances cover the shot with no out-of-pocket expense.

MUSC Health departments are encouraged to coordinate their own flu clinics for staff by requesting the vaccine from MUSC Pharmacy Services, noting that it is for employees at pharm-dc@musc.edu.

Health care teams are reminded, if they receive their flu shots at off-campus locations, they will need to upload their vaccine consent documentation to MUSC Health-Charleston’s tracking system. Forms can be uploaded to the DMS server for employee compliance records.

Flu Shot FAQs

Who should get a flu shot?

Everyone, six months and older, should get a flu shot. Immunocompromised patients should avoid getting live influenza vaccines — the kind that are sprayed up the nose and not given via injection. Healthy people who live around immunocompromised people should definitely get their flu shots, as they may be more likely to develop protection than the at-risk patient themselves.

What is the difference between influenza and COVID-19?

Influenza and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), and flu is cause by infection with influenza viruses. Because some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 share many characteristics, it might be hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone, and testing could be needed to help to confirm a diagnosis. Check with your primary care provider.

Can someone have flu and COVID-19 at the same time?

Yes. It is possible to have flu, as well as other respiratory illnesses, and COVID-19 at the same time. Health experts are still studying how common this can be. Some of the symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, making it hard to tell the difference between them based on symptoms alone. Diagnostic testing can help determine if you are sick with flu or COVID-19.

Because they can occur simultaneously throughout flu season, are there extra precautions?
The same social distancing, mask-wearing and hand hygiene measures that work for COVID-19 should also work for influenza.

Can I get the flu from the flu vaccine?

No, flu vaccines cannot cause flu illness. Flu vaccines given with a needle  are currently made in two ways: The vaccine is made either with flu viruses that have been "inactivated," and that therefore are not infectious, or by using only a single gene from a flu virus  in order to produce an immune response without causing infection. For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

What if I have had a previous allergic reaction to a flu shot in the past. Can I still get one?

Yes, MUSC brings in two types of flu vaccines for employees and patients who have a history of hypersensitivity.

  • Flucelvax — for employees/patients with a hypersensitivity (e.g. hives).
  • FluBlok — for employees/patients with a documented anaphylactic reaction to flu vaccine.

If you require one of the above flu shots, you will need to receive the vaccine from one of the pharmacies or Employee Health Services. MUSC does not carry the above vaccine types at the tent events or on the mobile rounding unit.

What if I do not want the flu shot?

For MUSC Health care team members, per policy C-166, all employees need to get a flu vaccine unless they have:

  • A medical contraindication (requires written documentation by a medical provider and submitted to employee health services).
  • A religious belief that does not permit vaccines 

Charleston Division — If either of the above are applicable, MUSC Health care team members must submit an online declination form.

Is it safe and should I get a flu shot if I’m pregnant?

Yes, in fact the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all recommend receiving a flu vaccine during any trimester of pregnancy. For more information, visit the CDC website. 

Source: MUSC Health and the CDC

MUSC Health-Charleston Satellite flu shot events
*MUSC Employee Health Services (57 Bee Street)Walk-ins for employees are available weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
*Rutledge Tower Flu Clinic (First Floor — at the old Family Medicine Clinic) The Flu Clinic will be open one week per month through December. Oct. 12-16; Nov. 16-20; and Dec. 7-11, weekdays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
*SouthPark and Parkshore — Thursday, Oct. 22; Monday, Oct. 26 and Thursday, Nov. 5.
*WestEdge — Wednesday, Nov. 4, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.MUSC Tent Events (Dates TBD).

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