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2020 Foil the Flu -- the Annual NIH Influenza Immunization Program Starts September 28

Free Flu Vaccine Protects You, Patients and Family

Foil the Flu, the annual seasonal influenza immunization program for all NIH workers begins Monday, September 28 and runs through November 6. All federal employees, trainees and contractors are highly 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 influenza. This year it is more important than ever to take advantage of the benefits of protecting against the flu because COVID-19 will likely continue to be transmitted during the coming flu season. To participate in Foil the Flu you need a valid NIH identification badge.

The annual Foil the Flu influenza immunization clinic will have some significant changes this year. Two big changes: 1) location and 2) the vaccine will be given by appointment only, through an online registration system, to help keep people safe. The location on the main campus has changed to the B-1 Cafeteria in Building 10. Walk-in immunization will not be available.

There will be additional COVID-19 safety measures in place. The staff providing vaccines will carefully follow infection control procedures. All staff arriving for a flu shot must wear a face cover and follow all physical distancing requirements.

For the 2020 - 2021 Immunization Schedule and Online Appointment Registration visit:

For off-campus flu clinic locations and dates, parking information for off-campus sites, and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit: Google Chrome is the preferred browser for the Foil the Flu Registration application, on both Windows and MacOS. Firefox and Safari are also supported. Internet Explorer is not supported.

IMPORTANT: All teleworking employees in the Washington, DC area are encouraged to schedule an appointment at our Shady Grove or 6700B Rockledge locations and avoid the Bethesda Main Campus. Extra dates and appointments have been added to those sites to accommodate additional staff. Please do not schedule an appointment at Baltimore/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.

If, after checking the Foil the Flu website (, you still have questions, please contact OMS at 301-496-4411 or or the Hospital Epidemiology Service at 301-496-2209.

Additional Helpful Information:

  • Employees intending to receive a flu shot must wear clothing that does not restrict access to the upper arm. Changing areas will not be available.
  • The Foil the Flu program will offer an egg-free quadrivalent vaccine matched to this year's circulating flu strains. To learn more about this year's flu shot, visit: Additional information on Flucelvax is available at:
  • Employees 65 and older are eligible to receive a high-dose vaccine which has been shown to enhance protection against influenza in this age group. To learn more about the high-dose flu shot, visit:
  • Flu vaccine is mandatory for all NIH employees and contractors who have contact with Clinical Center patients. Documentation will be required for all declinations and immunizations received outside NIH. Healthcare personnel (HCP) may upload documents using the Foil the Flu registration portal for OMS review. Those who submitted written provider documentation of most medical contraindications to OMS last year need not do so again. Interested staff should review the following information before visiting the clinic:
  • Following immunization, staff will receive an e-mail from the Foil the Flu program with instructions on how to obtain a certificate of immunization. Please save an electronic or printed copy of your immunization record.

We encourage everyone to submit all suggestions, questions, and comments to

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