Everything you need to know about your mandatory flu vaccine

A drawing of a doctor putting a bandage on a person’s arm after a flu shot.
(Sasha Matthews • The Student Life)

Fall is falling, leaves are leaving, and it’s time for the annual flu shot. 

The flu shot is mandatory for all 5C undergraduate students, who must be vaccinated by Oct. 31, 2023. Flu shot clinics will be available at all of the 5Cs beginning in October.

The flu shot clinics are scheduled for the following times and locations:  

  • Oct. 10, 12 to 4 p.m. at Pitzer College’s Gold Student Health & Wellness Center, Multi-Purpose Room; 
  • Oct. 11, 2 to 6 p.m. at Claremont McKenna’s McKenna Auditorium; 
  • Oct. 12, 12 to 4 p.m. at Scripps College’s Balch Auditorium;
  • Oct. 18, 1 to 5 p.m. at Pomona College’s Edmunds Ballroom;
  • Oct. 19, 2 to 6 p.m. at Tranquada 1st Floor MCAPS Annex (previously HEO); 
  • Oct. 20, 1 to 5 p.m. at Harvey Mudd College’s Green Room Platt Campus Center.

Students may attend any clinic, regardless of school affiliation.

Vaccines will also be available via appointment with Student Health Services (SHS) through online scheduling at “My Health Portal” or by calling 909-621-8222 (x18222).

At SHS, the flu shot is $35, though most insurance plans charge a $0 copay. SHS bills Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) directly, and students with this plan are completely covered for flu shots received at SHS.

For students receiving a vaccine with private insurance (non-SHIP) or who are uninsured, flu shots received at SHS are eligible for a $10 subsidy. Additionally, those enrolled in Kaiser may also receive the flu shot at no charge from a Kaiser clinic. Flu vaccines are billed directly to insurance at the flu clinics.

Nymisha Desai PZ ’25 recounted an incident from last year in which miscommunication with SHS left her to face unprecedented costs.

 “Last year, before receiving four shots, including my flu vaccine, I confirmed with the SHS representative that the vaccines would be covered with my [non-SHIP, private] insurance. They ended up charging me $700,” she said. After months of going back and forth with them, they decreased the charge by around 50 percent.”

This year, Desai went to Hendricks, a local pharmacy compatible with her insurance, to receive her flu vaccine.

For students with private insurance, SHS recommends local pharmacies as the most cost-effective choice.

This year, SHS already hosted a flu shot clinic, administering over 300 vaccines, at the Sept. 19 Back to Your Future block party, an outdoor event hosted by The Claremont Colleges Services.

Charis Kim PO ’24 received her flu vaccine at the Back to Your Future block party. While Kim was able to pre-register for the event, she said pre-registration was not highly advertised, and some students found themselves waiting in line for an extensive period of time.

“A lot of people felt pressured to get their shots done in this one time [where] there were on-campus clinics because it’s so much more convenient,” Kim said. “They update your documentation right away, whereas if you get it done separately, I’ve heard it can be a pain to make sure SHS knows you have[the flu shot].”

Students may request a religious or medical exemption through the “Affidavit for Exemption to Vaccination” on the SHS website.

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