UNC Charlotte to require flu shots for students, staff

Posted September 24, 2020 10:11 a.m. EDT
Updated September 24, 2020 10:15 a.m. EDT

— The University of North Carolina at Charlotte is requiring that every student, staff and faculty member get a flu shot before Nov. 16.

Students return to face-to-face instruction at Charlotte on Oct. 1.

"This might seem like an unusual or extreme measure, but we've never faced anything quite like COVID-19 before, and we must take extra steps to protect our campus," Chancellor Sharon Gaber said in a video.

The flu shot is critical because of how similar symptoms of the flu and coronavirus are. Reducing the number of flu infections can help better identify the coronavirus on campus and lift the burden on the health care system, the university said.

Health officials have been warning of a "twindemic," where both the flu and the coronavirus overwhelms health care providers.

"Even if we are seeing some benefit from COVID-safe behaviors in the community, we're still in for a rocky flu season," said Dr. Katie Passaretti, Atrium Health's medical director of infection prevention.

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