MINNEAPOLIS and ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities shattered the Guinness World Record for the most flu shots given in a single day today (Tuesday, Oct. 28) by dispensing 11,538 flu vaccines, according to early reports. The official number will be released on Wednesday, Oct. 29.
By noon Tuesday, the U of M had given 4,371 flu shots, easily eclipsing the previous Guinness World Record of 3,271. That record was set in November 2006 in Sanford, Fla.
"This has been 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," said Dr. Ed Ehlinger, director and chief public health officer at the University of Minnesota Boynton Health Service.
The university's Boynton Health Service, with help from the U of M's School of Nursing, College of Pharmacy, Medical Reserve Corps and the Minnesota Visiting Nurses Association, dispensed flu shots from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday at four locations around the campus in Minneapolis and St. Paul. More than 60 trained personnel distributed the shots during the nine-hour period. University students, faculty, staff and their dependents (ages 18 and older) were eligible to receive the free vaccination.
"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. Students have responded to it," Ehlinger said.
In addition, the mass one-day vaccination effort served as a test of the university's emergency response mechanism, to see how many people can be inoculated in a short period of time. The single-day effort proved successful in that respect as well, Ehlinger said.
"If we need to mobilize our Medical Reserve Corps to deal with an influenza outbreak or a small pox outbreak, we'll have had the training with this event to allow us to do that," Ehlinger said.
Source: University of Minnesota