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Vaccine campaign tops 2007 by a third

by Mary Helen Yarborough
Public Relations
The scene at the Horseshoe was crowded, but orderly, as constant streams of employees, students and MUSC associates lined up to participate in an annual mass inoculation drill.
Registered nurse Sharon Dunning, center, of MUHA Risk Management, administers a vaccination to an MUSC employee while Dr. Ivar Frithsen, Employee Health Services medical director, left, prepares more flu vaccines.

Working nonstop from two disaster response tents erected in front of the Education Center and Library Building, nurses, physicians, employee health and infection control personnel volunteered during the two-day drill that was used to dispense vaccinations against this year’s strains of influenza.
“Our hourly counts at the flu tents indicated that we gave 1,950 doses on Oct. 15 and 889 on Oct. 16 for a grand total of 2,839 doses,” exclaimed Linda Formby, R.N., infection control manager. “Last year at the tent on the first day, we gave 1,369 doses, and on the second day 937 doses. We had a 24 percent increase this year in the number given during those two days.”
Elsewhere and during hours to accommodate late-and-early working staff, flu vaccines were administered at varying shifts and in departments all across campus.
Ambulatory Care manager Judi Bucknam gave 104 doses on the Rutledge Tower connector, which brought the number of vaccinations to 2,943, according to Formby.
Meanwhile, 2,422 additional doses were distributed to managers for administration to their staff. “According to the records I have from 2007, 1,820 doses were distributed to managers last year,” Formby reported. “That represents an almost 35 percent increase over last year.”
This also was the first time that MUSC Student Health Services participated in the event on the Horseshoe, and, “I vaccinated 399 MUSC students,” said Julie Reese, R.N., Student Health Services associate director. “We plan to participate again next year.
Formby said the campaign could not have succeeded as well as it did without the help of staff and managers who pitched in and operated with efficiency during the distribution.
“If it had not been for the staff Elizabeth Perry sent, we would have drowned,” said Formby, who also extended appreciation and praise to Volunteer Services manager Katy Kuder for providing the volunteers. “It was a tremendous help to have them to assist with the paperwork and traffic flow.
“Flu vaccine group members worked diligently to make this event a success,” Formby added. “We will be meeting again to critique the tent exercise and make any improvements, and to plan for future vaccination distribution during Wellness Wednesdays.”

Friday, Oct. 24, 2008

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.