Penn vaccinated over 10,300 members of the University community at its campus flu clinic last week.
The annual clinic, which offered free flu vaccines to all members of the Penn community, was hosted from Oct. 4 to Oct. 6 in Gimbel Gymnasium in the Pottruck Health and Wellness Center.
According to Wellness at Penn, nearly 7,900 of those vaccinated were current students, which were split evenly between undergraduate and graduate students. Over 2,400 of those vaccinated were Penn faculty or staff members. Nearly 50 spouses, partners, and guests also attended the clinic.
Wellness at Penn reported that the average turnaround time throughout the clinic — measured from entry of Pottruck to the exit of Gimbel Gymnasium — was between five and six minutes, and an average of 535 vaccines were given each hour. The clinic was at its busiest on Friday, when over 600 attendees were vaccinated within one hour, with an average turnaround consistently below seven minutes.
The clinic was “Candy Land” themed, with free candy distributed to attendees, and Penn School of Dental Medicine staff handed out toothbrushes and floss. Dental students also had the highest turnout among graduate and professional schools, with over two thirds of the student population attending the clinic.
Nursing students enrolled in the “Nursing and the Community” course were able to assist with preparing and administering vaccines throughout the clinic. Over two-thirds of the undergraduate nursing population was vaccinated at the clinic.
The clinic was the first to be held since Penn’s flu immunization requirement was lifted this fall. Last year — with the requirement in place — Penn vaccinated nearly 12,000 community members.
Rebecca Huxta, Wellness at Penn’s Director of Public Health, told The Daily Pennsylvanian that the flu clinic was a successful and rewarding experience.
“We were especially impressed by the student turnout, which shows not only how important they consider their health and wellbeing, but also how great of an impact they have on the entire community at Penn,” Huxta wrote.
Ashlee Halbritter, Wellness at Penn’s Executive Director of Public Health and Wellbeing, echoed Huxta’s sentiment.
“We’re thrilled to see so many students taking care of themselves and their communities,” Halbritter wrote.