This message was sent to the WPI community.

Dear WPI Community: 

A-Term is ending and folks will be heading off campus for the break. From past experience, we know that we typically see an uptick in COVID-19 cases when community members return from break or from holiday travel. If you are traveling during the break, we ask that you test prior to returning to campus as part of our ongoing efforts to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at WPI. As we transition to colder weather, health experts predict both a severe flu season and COVID surges this fall and winter.

In other words, now is the time to get your flu shot and COVID booster to protect yourself, your friends and family, and the campus community. (According to the CDC, you can get them both at the same time.) Here’s why and how:

Flu Changes Every Year—Get Vaccinated 

New and/or different flu strains emerge every year, so flu vaccines are updated annually to provide people with the best protection from serious illness.

  • WPI is hosting walk-in flu shot clinics on October 11 and 12, and appointment-based clinics on October 26 and November 3.
  • You can also find pharmacies that carry the flu shot and nasal spray here.

Bring your health insurance card to any vaccination appointment; insurance generally covers shots.  

COVID Immunity Wanes Over Time—Get Boosted 

If it has been more than three months since you’ve had either COVID or a booster, it’s time for another shot as your immunity decreases with time. The most updated vaccine—referred to as the bivalent booster—protects against both the original viral strain and the more recent Omicron subvariants. To help increase your protection and mitigate community illness, WPI strongly recommends getting an updated COVID-19 vaccine booster as soon as you are eligible:

  • Ideally over the break or any time before November (when a spike in cases is anticipated).
  • WPI will host two COVID booster clinics—on Oct. 26 and Nov. 3; flu and many other vaccines will also be available. Check the Health Services and Resources page for details and sign-ups starting Oct. 13. 
  • A chart with more details about timing your booster can be found on the COVID-19 Resources page within the COVID FAQ section.

Remember, you might have side effects after any vaccine, so don’t plan your shots for the day before a big exam or presentation. Time it so you can rest the next day if needed. Information on the flu vaccine and side effects can be found here, and information on the COVID vaccine and side effects can be found here.  


WPI Public Health Team