UAB is united in ensuring the health and safety of its campus community—including free flu vaccinations. Our experts have stated that this is the most important flu shot you may ever receive. COVID-19 has put a significant strain on our nation’s—and on UAB’s—healthcare system. A bad flu year could overload our hospitals and limit intensive care for patients.

While a flu shot will not prevent COVID, it can help prepare your body to fight off the flu virus; this is key to ensure that you minimize any chance to catch both viruses at the same time. Experts warn that this "twindemic" could have detrimental health effects if it occurs, as your body could be fighting two respiratory viruses at once.

"This winter we need to be more vigilant than ever in social distancing, hand washing, and taking every precaution we can to stop the spread of both COVID-19 and the flu. Because the two illnesses cause similar symptoms and complications, the mortality risk of both diseases together is exponentially higher. It is going to be difficult to fight a medical battle on two fronts and I would encourage everyone to do their part and get the flu shot."

- Emily Staples, D.O., assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine

Tip: The vaccine is given in the upper arm, so make sure your clothing allows the provider to access that area.

UAB Employees

healthcare worker administering flu shot in arm

UAB faculty, staff and UAB Medicine employees can get their flu vaccination through Occupational Medicine. Employees within the School of Medicine and UAB Medicine are required to have a flu vaccination. Faculty and staff must make an appointment for the flu vaccine.


The CDC and UAB Medicine physicians encourage everyone to get a flu shot annually, but particularly this year as COVID-19 continues to circulate in the community. Employees who are pregnant, allergic to eggs, or have previously had an adverse reaction and wish to receive their flu vaccine by Occupational Medicine should consult their primary care physician prior and have written permission to receive.

Faculty and Staff

  • UAB Campus employees should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to schedule an appointment at the Community Health Services Building.
  • Available to UAB Campus employees with a Blazer ID badge.
  • ppointment and UAB Healthcheck Passport required.

UAB Medicine Employees

What if I get my flu vaccine elsewhere?

Employees are encouraged to get their flu shot wherever it is convenient to them—you don't have to come to campus if your insurance plan covers this vaccine and you'd rather get it at your doctor's office, pharmacy, or other locations. 

UAB employees and dependents covered on a UAB medical plan may get a flu shot at no cost through a participating pharmacy. This includes Express Scripts entire pharmacy network of both large and small providers nationwide. Other community locations and physician offices providing flu shots may require a copay.

  • All UAB Medicine employees are required to get their flu shot and submit proof to Employee Health.
  • For faster processing, fill out the Flu Consent Form below and bring with you when you get your flu shot.

If you choose to get your vaccine elsewhere, you are required to provide both the Flu Verification Form below and documentation of your shot to Employee Health. However, the forms should be submitted as soon as possible after you receive your flu shot. The form outlines the information needed on the documentation you receive from the alternative location. Email both documents to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or bring hard copies to Employee Health located at Spain Wallace, Suite 123, at 619 19th Street South.

Flu Verification Form

Get Rewarded

Employees can earn up to 250 points in the My Health Rewards program. This year, in addition to points earned, a participant’s flu shot counts as a My Health Rewards “Key Behavior.” UAB Employee Wellness is working with UAB Employee Health to auto upload participation information at the end of the 2020 UAB Flu Shot Campaign. Employees will also have the ability to self-report in the My Health Rewards platform. Visit to login or register.

UAB Students

The CDC and UAB Medicine physicians encourage everyone to get a flu shot annually, but particularly this year as COVID-19 continues to circulate in the community. UAB students can get their flu vaccination at no cost through Student Health and Wellness. Visit the Student Health home page to book your appointment. 

Don't forget:

UAB Patients

UAB Medicine’s Flu Shot Clinics make it easier than ever to protect yourself from influenza. Existing patients can visit one of our clinics and get your shot before flu season starts.

exterior of Kirklin Clinic
  • The Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital 2nd floor. No appointment required.
  • Curbside Flu Shot Clinic in The Kirklin Clinic parking deck. Appointment required.
exterior of UAB Hospital Highlands
  • UAB Hospital-Highlands 4th floor. No appointment required.

“I can’t stress enough how important it is that everyone get a flu vaccine this year. COVID-19 and the flu present with similar symptoms. A bad flu season, on top of the COVID-19 pandemic, could be devastating.”

- Erin DeLaney, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine

Is it flu or COVID-19?

flu 1200x600 2


  • Runny nose
  • General feeling of being unwell
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Potential loss of taste and smell


  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Body aches
  • Diarrhea


  • Onset is sudden
  • Involves fever, exhaustion, and
    loss of appetite
  • Symptoms are severe

Flu and COVID-19 share overlapping symptoms, including fever, chills, cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, vomiting and diarrhea. The only symptom of COVID-19 that differs from flu is the possible change in or loss of taste and smell. It is important to note that people can have varying degrees of symptoms with either virus. Because of the overlapping symptoms for flu and COVID-19, a lab test is the most effective way to conclude what virus you are experiencing. 

If you are feeling any symptom that could be perceived as flu or COVID-19, immediately self-isolate at home and minimize contact with others. Call your primary care provider, Student Health, or Employee Health if you are experiencing any related symptom noted above and wait for further advice regarding testing and treatment.

Both viruses are highly contiguous and patients should take precautions to avoid exposing others by staying home and leaving only to seek medical attention. While isolated, wash hands or use hand sanitizer frequently, cover your mouth and nose with a mask and use elbow to cover sneezing or coughing.

New Testing Protocols

Because the symptoms of the flu and COVID-19 are so similar, patients presenting with symptoms will be tested for both viruses. Note that results for flu tests will be available sooner than COVID-19 tests.