University of Minnesota breaks flu-shot world record

| November 10, 2008

by Lisa Schnirring  (Staff Writer)

Oct 30, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The University of Minnesota on Oct 28 blew past the single-day Guinness world record for administering seasonal flu vaccine, delivering 11,538 shots at four campus locations.

The previous record of 3,271 was set in November 2006 by a hospital in Sanford, Fla., according to a press release from the university, which has campuses in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The flu shots—free to all students, staff, faculty, and dependents age 18 or older—were dispensed by the school's Boynton Health Service with help from the School of Nursing, the College of Pharmacy, the Medical Reserve Corps, and the Minnesota Visiting Nurses Association.

The immunization drive also allowed the university's Medical Reserve Corps to test its emergency plan for quickly delivering vaccines or other medication to the public in the event of an influenza pandemic or other health threat.

Ed Ehlinger, director and chief public health officer at Boynton Health Service, said in the press release that the event was a wonderful success. "Not only have we broken the record, but we vaccinated so many people and raised awareness about the importance of flu vaccines when it comes to the health of college students," he said.

"We needed to find some way to raise the whole issue of immunizations among college students, and we figured what better thing on a college campus than to go after a world record. College students responded to it," he said.

He said the emergency exercise was also a success. "If we need to mobilize our Medical Reserve Corps to deal with an influenza outbreak or a smallpox outbreak, we'll have had the training with this event to allow us to do that," Ehlinger said.

Category: General Healthcare News

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