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Pharmacy Students Organize 'Operation Immunization' for Oxford Campus

Operation Immunization
Kayla Hawkins (left) administered flu shots at last year's Operation Immunization event.

October 3, 2013

 

By Machael Wade

 

Have you gotten your flu shot yet? If not, getting one before this year's flu season will be a breeze, thanks to pharmacy students at the University of Mississippi.

In conjunction with Operation Immunization, members of the local chapter of the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Student Pharmacists, or APhA-ASP, will provide flu shots in multiple locations on the Ole Miss campus during the first two weeks of October.

Sponsored by APhA, Operation Immunization is a campaign designed not only to increase the public's knowledge about immunizations but also the number of adults receiving the shots.

The local chapter of APhA-ASP has partnered with the campaign in past years to provide flu shots only in the School of Pharmacy, said Patrick Reed, the chapter's vice president of clinical affairs.

"This year, we have expanded our locations to reach out to several new faculty, staff and student populations," said Reed, who is in the second professional year of pharmacy school.

Immunizations will be given:

  • Thursday (Oct. 3), 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Robert C. Khayat Law Center
  • Friday (Oct. 4), 9-11 a.m. at the Robert C. Khayat Law Center
  • Oct. 8, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the School of Pharmacy
  • Oct. 10, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Student Union

The flu shots normally cost $25. University employees can bill the cost directly to their insurance by bringing their ID number and insurance card.

Students receive immunization training during the first year of the professional pharmacy program, said Joseph Dikun, a graduate assistant in the Department of Pharmacy Administration and the local APhA-ASP chapter's co-adviser.

"As part of their skills laboratory each January, our first-year student pharmacists are certified through APhA's Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery Program," Dikun said. "Operation Immunization gives them the opportunity to practice their skills as well as give back to the university community."

Experts estimate that flu vaccines can prevent more than 50,000 deaths annually.

"Our students are very passionate about Operation Immunization," Dikun said. "That passion is rooted in the School of Pharmacy's dedication to developing future pharmacists who strive to practice at the peak of their profession, and immunization delivery is one component of that."

Reed is confident the immunization campaign will greatly benefit the Ole Miss community.

"We are hoping to have a huge turnout and encourage all students and faculty and staff members to come and receive their flu shots," he said.

For more information about the campaign or to volunteer at any of the events, contact Reed at tpreed@go.olemiss.edu.