To the Case Western Reserve Community:
We write today for two reasons:
First, we want to thank the 2,372 of you who already have received your free flu shots (influenza vaccination) from the university since they became available last month.
Second, we strongly recommend that anyone who has not yet gotten the flu shot do so as soon as possible.
Case Western Reserve has provided free annual flu shots to the campus community for several years, and for good reason: The vaccinations not only lower the likelihood of becoming sick with the flu, but also reduce the severity of symptoms if you do fall ill.
As beneficial as flu shots are in any year, they bring particular value now as we grapple with this global pandemic. Over the past decade, the CDC estimates annual deaths from flu totaled between 12,000 and 61,000; over the past nine months, COVID-19 has claimed more than 214,000 lives. Researchers differ on respective hospitalization rates for flu and COVID-19, but the lowest has those with COVID-19 nine times more likely to land in a hospital bed. While the flu shot will not prevent you from contracting COVID-19, it does lower the chances of co-infection.
As temperatures drop and people spend more time indoors, the risk of contracting COVID-19 increases. In recent weeks as the weather has turned cooler, there have been significant spikes in COVID-19 cases around the country. On Friday, Ohio set an all-time single-day record for new cases (1,840), and the U.S. had its highest number of new cases (57,420) since mid-August.
Flu shots will continue to be available in the Veale Convocation and the Recreation and Athletic Center this week, and continue throughout his month and November. Vaccinations now will also be available at the Health Education Campus starting Monday. To learn more about dates and hours at both locations, please visit the University Wellness website.
Again, we deeply appreciate all that you have done to continue to protect yourself and others this fall. Please stay healthy, and well.
Ben Vinson III
Provost and Executive Vice President