Friday Flu Shot: Flulapalooza
Oct 14, 2011

One of the latest and greatest achievements to gain recognition at Vanderbilt University was not academic….or was it?
Just this past Wednesday, the Vanderbilt University Medical Center offered flu vaccines to faculty, staff and students free of charge.  While that may not sound like much to write about, the fact is that this special “Flulapalooza” event was something to take note of.
What had originated as a drill to test Vanderbilt’s capacity to respond to a pandemic, eventually resulted in a new world record of administering the most vaccines in an eight-hour period.  With the help of 44 vaccinators and plenty of volunteers, “Flulapalooza” captured the attention of students and generated enthusiasm about getting timely flu vaccinations.  The event proved to be a huge success with 12,647 people successfully vaccinated in a span of eight hours.  That easily surpassed, and more than doubled, the previous record of 6,215 flu shots given in an eight-hour period.
While the results of “Flulapalooza” still need to be certified by the Guinness Book of World Records, it appears that the winners are clear.  There are 12,647 more people vaccinated today than there were on Tuesday.  Each of those people come in contact with countless others, and by getting themselves vaccinated, they are not only reducing their risk of suffering with seasonal influenza, but they are also doing their part to help prevent the spread of illness at the Vanderbilt Medical Center, throughout the University campus and even within the broader scope of the community.
This really made me think about how other organizations could generate excitement through events similar to “Flulapalooza”.   What interesting suggestions might you have for schools, senior centers, hospitals or universities?  Perhaps later this year, or even next year, we will see other groups trying to top the new 12, 647 benchmark set earlier this week.  Or perhaps  you have other creative suggestions that you can share in the comments below.
It’s important to remember that it can take up to two weeks after you receive the vaccine for your body to build up immunity against influenza. That’s why it’s important to get your flu shot early in the season.  If you haven’t gotten yours yet, don’t wait.  Make it a priority to vaccinate! If you are interested in finding out where you can get the flu vaccine, visit the Families Fighting Flu website and simply enter your zip code to find the places nearest you.


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5 responses to “Friday Flu Shot: Flulapalooza”

  1. Steve Michaels says:

    Congratulations to Vanderbilt University! How many of those 12,647 people weighed over 550 pounds or were pregnant? To ALL of those who weigh less than that or are carrying a child, they have allowed themselves to be injected with more mercury than the FDA’s upper safety limit allows…. So much for university students actually being educated.
    “Each dose of flu vaccine contains around 25 micrograms of thimerosal, over 250 times the Environmental Protection Agency’s safety limit of exposure. Mercury, a neurotoxin, is especially damaging to undeveloped brains. Considering that 25 micrograms of mercury is considered unsafe by the EPA for any human under 550 pounds, the devastating health effects of mercury on a developing fetus are truly concerning.”
    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/63777.php

  2. Nathan says:

    No, they havent “allowed themselves to be injected with more mercury than the FDA’s upper safety limit allows” Steve. You have again referenced something that is not an original source and does not even link to any original source regarding these alleged “guidelines.” Most likely they mean the EPA guidelines for chronic daily exposure of methylmercury, which is highly bioaccumulative. Flu shots do not contain methylmercury, and vaccines are not given daily, unlike the daily exposure of methylmercury that some get through fish consumption..
    And you don’t know that the flu vaccines given at Flulapalooza had thimerosal anyway.

  3. Chris says:

    Especially since at least four of the eight available are available without thimerosal: Table 1. Thimerosal Content of Vaccines Routinely Recommended for Children 6 Years of Age and Younger

  4. Additionally, the few vaccines that have ethyl-mercury, not methyl-mercury have less mercury in them than breast milk. You wouldn’t advocate that mom’s stop breast feeding would you? Additionally, a pregnant women who contracts the flu has a substantially greater risk to the fetus than any flu shot did, if it had mercury.

  5. ChrisKid says:

    Not to mention that he’s referring to those limits as if thimerosal were pure mercury, instead of a compound that includes it. That 25 micrograms of thimerosal is actually somewhat less than half that in yes, ethylmercury, not methylmercury. Nice attempt at scare tactics there, Steve.

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