"It's always important to get your flu shot, but there is an emphasis on that importance this year during the pandemic," said Dr. Tiffaney Threatt, associate professor at the Presbyterian College School of Pharmacy and director of the PCSP Wellness Center.
The Wellness Center has hosted annual flu shot clinics since 2011. This year, Wellness Center staff and immunization-certified pharmacy interns administered 230 flu shots to PC students and members of the community. These shots took place at clinics in September and October.
The Wellness Center also collaborated with Ingles Pharmacy and Sadler Hughes Apothecary in Clinton in an effort to expand the number of people receiving their flu shot. The organizations hosted several flu shot clinics for PC employees and students on the PC campus.
All total, over 500 flu shots were provided.
"The school recognizes the importance of the influenza vaccine and also the role pharmacists can play in promoting health," Threatt said.
Care for the Community
PC School of Pharmacy focuses on providing students with an education that emphasizes serving the community.
"Our pharmacy students are committed to upholding this mission as many students volunteered hours of their time to assist with the flu shot clinics," according to Threatt.
Students helped by administering vaccines. Other students helped by preparing for the event, assisting patients with paperwork, and providing necessary documentation required by law.
"These events definitely would not have run as smoothly without the time and effort these students offered," Threatt said.
The Importance of Flu Shots
Hosting flu shot clinics give people in our community an extra opportunity to get their flu shot, according to Threatt.
"Some individuals don't have time to wait at their doctor’s office due to busy work schedules," she said. "Removing barriers to receiving the flu shot makes it more likely they will receive the vaccine and get protected. That’s why bringing flu shots directly to our employees, students, and patients in the diabetes care program was the right thing to do.”
While the influenza virus and COVID-19 are two completely different viruses, they are similar, according to Threatt.
"Both affect the respiratory system, and it is possible to be infected with both at the same time," she said. "Both viruses have been known to cause a significant number of hospitalizations and deaths, meaning that an infection of either virus may lead to a difficult time fighting off the other and possibly be even more detrimental to one’s health."
As a result, getting a flu shot this year is especially important.
"Getting your flu shot this year is essential as many healthcare facilities are still facing shortages in medical resources and have limited capacity as a result of COVID outbreaks, so it is best that we take preventative measures now," Threatt said.