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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