Friday, February 13, 2009

Minnesota clinic sets record for flu shots

Today's guest blog entry is by Tricia Todd, MPH, assistant director of the Health Careers Center at the University of Minnesota.

Oct. 28, 2008, will go down in history as the day the University of Minnesota shattered the Guinness World Record for most flu shots given in a single day — 11,810. Attempting to break the 2006 record of 3,271 shows just how important the university feels flu shots are to public health and safety.

"We learned a lot about giving out thousands of vaccinations in a very short period of time," said Edward Ehlinger, MD, MSPH, director of the University of Minnesota's Boynton Health Service. "This is important information for other emergency preparedness planning. I would also expect to see a drop in overall influenza cases on campus. The health of students plays a very important role in their academic success."

Students and staff lined up in crisp weather at four locations across the Twin Cities campuses to get their shots. Clinic personnel — who included students and staff from the health service, nursing and pharmacy students, members of the Medical Reserve Corps and staff from the the Minnesota Visiting Nurses Association — gave shots from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

"It was exciting to participate in this event, and it was neat to think that I contributed to the 11,810 immunizations administered," said Emily Croswell, a senior nursing student. "I felt like we worked well as a team, set a goal, and successfully achieved our target. I was proud to be a part of this experience, and I will carry this memory for a lifetime."

Judy Beniak RN, MPH, director of the Health Careers Center and faculty coordinator of a university immunization class, noted that the Guinness World Record flu clinic showed "how pre-licensed students with the proper training in mass immunization can work together to provide outstanding public health service. I'm proud of all my students."

Photo credit: J. Rosand, University of Minnesota

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1 comment:

anna said...

Congratulations for setting a record for flu shots! That's quite a feat! What a great way to prepare for an emergency, at the same time as protecting the health of college students. I am always suprised at the number of young people who don't see any value in getting a flu shot. Hopefully this effort will help start some good public health habits that will continue with them for years to come.