Loyola University Maryland

Coronavirus Updates

Oct. 7, 2020 - Flu vaccine required for students returning in person in the spring

Dear Students,

As our president, Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., mentioned in the message he sent on Oct. 2, 2020, Loyola will be requiring the influenza vaccine for all students who return to Loyola’s campuses for the spring semester. If you will be attending classes on any of Loyola's campuses and/or living on the Evergreen campus, you must submit proof of having received your flu shot to Student Health Services. 

After much consideration and consultation with health experts, Loyola made the decision last week to require flu immunizations for all students as we return to campus for the Spring 2021 semester. This decision was made with the knowledge that influenza and COVID-19 have similar symptom profiles and the peak season for flu activity in our area typically runs from late October through spring.

How the Flu Shot Protects You  
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months receive a flu vaccine every season. Compounding the COVID-19 pandemic with an influenza outbreak on Loyola’s campuses would place our community’s health and safety at risk, decrease the likelihood that the Spring 2021 semester would be completed in person, and would tax Baltimore City’s medical resources.

Our students are particularly vulnerable to each of these rapidly spreading illnesses given that many live in congregate living situations on or off campus, while keeping long hours of studying, working, and training. The typical college student’s inconsistent sleep schedule and nutritional regime also put them inherently at risk for having a weakened immune system, in turn, placing them at higher risk for any infection. There are certainly members of our Loyola community who, due to a medical condition, cannot get the flu shot. As a community, we are also working to protect this group by asking all who are able to get a flu shot. 

While we understand that the flu shot does not necessarily prevent you from getting the flu, a vaccinated flu patient experiences less severe symptoms over a shorter period of time than someone who did not receive a vaccination. By mandating the flu shot for the spring semester, we are hoping to mitigate spread of the highly contagious flu. 

How to Provide Documentation 
As you receive your flu shot, simply ask the provider for documentation that you received it. You can either scan the documentation or take a picture of it and email it to healthservices@loyola.edu.

Exceptions 
Some members of our community may have a medical or religious reason for not getting a flu shot, and we will work with each of these situations independently to assure they may still be on campus. If you believe you fall into this category, please have your health care provider give you documentation supporting exemption of a flu shot and submit it to healthservices@loyola.edu.

Be a Healthy Hound
Loyola is doing all we can to ensure a safe and successful return to campus in January. Each of us needs to do our part to help ensure a safe and healthy spring semester for our community.  

Sincerely, 
Student Health and Education Services 

Healthy Hound approved