2023 Foil the Flu -- The Annual NIH Influenza Immunization Program Starts October 2
Free Flu Vaccine Protects You, Patients and Family
Foil the Flu, the annual seasonal influenza immunization program for all NIH workers, begins Monday, October 2 and runs through November 9. All federal employees, trainees and contractors are strongly encouraged to be immunized against the flu. Getting a flu shot every year is the best way to reduce your risk of getting sick with flu. This year, it is more important than ever to take advantage of the benefits of protecting against the flu because other respiratory pathogens, including COVID-19 and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), will likely continue to be transmitted during the coming flu season. You need a valid NIH identification badge to receive your seasonal flu shot though Foil the Flu.
All NIH staff who have contact with Clinical Center patients must participate in the annual Foil the Flu program. Information on meeting this requirement through vaccination received in the community or an exemption request can be found in the “Additional Information" section below.
The NIH will not offer a COVID-19 vaccination campaign this fall.
Schedule and Registration:
- The vaccine will be given by appointment only for all sites (including clinics in Montana, North Carolina, Baltimore and Frederick, MD) through an online registration system.
- Find the 2023 Immunization Schedule and Online Appointment Registration System at the Foil the Flu website. This website includes parking information for some sites and answers to frequently asked questions.
- Google Chrome is the preferred browser for the Foil the Flu Registration application. Internet Explorer is not supported.
- IMPORTANT: Please do not schedule an appointment at Harbor Hospital or Poolesville unless you work onsite at those locations. Simultaneous clinics will begin in satellite campuses across the country. Take care to select the correct site when registering to make an appointment.
Preparing for Your Appointment:
- All individuals must wear a surgical mask at any flu clinic site and will be provided one upon entering any flu clinic.
- Please do not arrive for your scheduled appointment time more than 10 minutes early to avoid creating lines at the check-in area.
- Employees intending to receive a flu vaccine should wear clothing that allows easy access to the upper arm. Changing areas will not be available.
If, after checking the Foil the Flu website, you still have questions, please contact Occupational Medical Service (OMS) at 301-496-4411 or OMSfluclinic@mail.nih.gov or the Clinical Center Hospital Epidemiology Service (HES) at 301-496-2209.
- All flu vaccines offered this year are quadrivalent designed to protect against four different flu viruses, two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. This means broader immunity for the recipient against flu viruses likely to circulate this fall and winter.
- Egg allergy is no longer a contraindication to flu vaccination. This year's CDC recommendations call for flu immunization without special consideration for a history of egg allergy. As in prior years, Foil the Flu staff will exercise all necessary precautions for administering any vaccine.
- The Foil the Flu program will offer a cell-based quadrivalent vaccine matched to this year's circulating flu strains. Additional information on Flucelvax® is available.
- Employees 65 and older are eligible to receive Fluzone® High-Dose vaccine, which will also be offered through the Foil the Flu program and has been shown to enhance protection against influenza in this age group. For additional information on the vaccines offered through the program please visit the Foil the Flu website.
- Information for staff who have contact with Clinical Center patients and are required to receive the vaccine: Documentation will be required for all declinations, as well as for immunizations received outside NIH. For more information, including the medical and religious declination forms, visit this HES website. Please submit declination forms and documentation of outside vaccination in person to OMS (Building 10/Room 6C306) or upload online. Once reviewed, OMS will update your compliance status. Please call OMS at 301-496-4411 for additional assistance.
Foil the Flu is sponsored by:
NIH Office of Research Services/Division of Occupational Health and Safety/Occupational Medical Service and the NIH Clinical Center/Hospital Epidemiology Service