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U gives record flu vaccinations in a day

The University of Minnesota reserved its spot in the book of Guinness World Records on October 28, when it immunized 11,538 people against the flu.

By noon that day, the University already had immunized 4,371 students, faculty, staff, and their dependents, breaking the previous world record of 3,271 set in Florida in November 2006.

“This has been a wonderful success,” says Ed Ehlinger, M.D., M.S.P.H., director and chief public health officer at the University’s Boynton Health Service. “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.”

Boynton Health Service—with help from the Medical Reserve Corps, School of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, and the Minnesota Visiting Nurses Association—dispensed the free flu vaccine from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day at four locations around the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses.

The mass vaccination effort also served as a test of the University’s emergency response system, showing how many people could be inoculated in a short period of time.

“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 says.

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