As the fall temperatures roll in, we want to provide some health and wellness updates, tips and resources to help you and your family thrive. With cold and flu season upon us and the possibility of upcoming family gatherings, it is important to maintain healthy practices and prioritize the well-being of yourself and the community. Many of you are asking about COVID-19 boosters, flu vaccinations and well-being resources. View these highlights and take care.
At this time, Washington University is not requiring boosters for students, faculty and staff.
The COVID-19 vaccine offers high levels of protection against severe illness. Boosters are an added preventive measure to reduce the risk for mild infection in eligible populations recommended by the CDC. Per the CDC, COVID-19 booster shots are recommended for individuals who are 65 years and older or who have underlying medical conditions. Boosters are also recommended for individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at least two months ago.
For university community members who would like to receive a booster, appointments are readily available at most public clinics or retail pharmacies. To find a booster vaccine near you, visit vaccines.gov/search/ and type in your zip code. Employees who receive a booster should update their vaccination records in ReadySet.
To keep our campus safe for everyone, Washington University requires all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and the flu. Our community is vaccinated against COVID-19 and we again thank you for your effort to accomplish this important public health milestone. We also thank you if you’re received your flu shot already. Please do not forget to record it in ReadySet.
If you haven’t gotten your flu vaccine already, please get it as soon as possible to avoid suspension and possible termination, and make sure to record it in ReadySet. Options to get a flu vaccine and documentation instructions are available online. Please remember, flu vaccine documentation must be uploaded by 5 p.m. on Nov. 19 to remain compliant with the university’s flu policy. Suspensions will begin for non-compliant employees on Nov. 22.
Take time to take care of yourself and your loved ones
Keep you and your family healthy and safe this season with the simple actions below.
- Make sure to enroll or re-enroll in your health, dental, vision and insurance benefits during open enrollment, which takes place Nov. 1 to Nov. 17. Find more information, such as 2022 benefit guides and updates, resources for enrolling through Workday and more, on the open enrollment website.
- Get enough sleep. Sleep helps your body recovery and not enough of it has been linked to chronic health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and depression. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep per night. Parents, check out this recent study from Tim Bono, PhD, and the benefits sleep provides in adolescent and young adults.
Eat healthy. Focus on eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and reducing your consumption of red meat and processed foods. Make sure you’re also drinking enough water throughout your day.
Lower your stress with mindfulness activities and other activities. Creating and sticking to a daily routine that reduces your stress can help improve your health and reduce your risk of chronic illnesses such as depression, anxiety and other mental health conditions. WashU offers multiple resources to employees and their families, including our mindfulness programs, employee assistance program and access to the Department of Psychiatry clinicians.
Stay safe during the holiday season. Follow the CDC’s guidance for event and holiday activities.
For additional ways to stay healthy, visit the Well-Being hub, read the 8Ways to Wellness to view the evidence-based behaviors developed for WashU employees by WashU employees or request a consultation with a MyWay to Health wellness expert.