October 11, 2011

Flulapalooza Aims for World Record Tomorrow, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.

By Nancy Humphrey

Months of planning under the direction of Vanderbilt’s Department of Emergency Preparedness will culminate tomorrow, Wednesday, Oct. 12, at Flulapalooza, a mass vaccination drill and simultaneous attempt at breaking a Guinness World Record. Free flu vaccines will be given to University and Medical Center faculty, staff, volunteers and students during the daylong event.

Flulapalooza, to be held under a tent on the grassy lawn between Light Hall and the VA Campus, will begin at 6 a.m. and end at 7 p.m., although the hours for Guinness World Record consideration are between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. A valid Vanderbilt ID is required to receive the free flu shot.

Although the official goal of the event is to test the Medical Center’s emergency mass vaccination plan as if there really were a public health emergency requiring mass vaccination, organizers of the event have a second goal —breaking the Guinness World Record for the most vaccines of any kind given in an eight-hour period.

The current world record currently stands at 6,217 and is held by Kaiser Permanente. Vanderbilt’s goal is to give 8,000 doses in eight hours.

There will be 44 nurses at individual stations working simultaneously in the Flulapalooza tent, with 20 staff working to check people out after their shots. The team planning the exercise met with a University of Louisville representative, where a similar event was held in 2009, to plan the safest and most efficient way to move four lines through the tent.

“When you think about it, actually giving the vaccine takes a nurse only a minute,” said Melanie Swift, M.D., medical director of the Occupational Health Clinic and physician officer overseeing Flulapalooza. “It's the processes around checking in, documentation and billing that usually take more time. This event is carefully planned to remove red tape and streamline these processes, so that a card swipe is all you need to get in and get out. This frees the nurses to just focus on the person they are vaccinating.”

The 2011-2012 flu vaccine will protect against the three influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the season. This includes an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus and an influenza B virus.

Medical Center shuttles and large motorized carts will be available throughout the day to bring University faculty, staff and students to the Flulapalooza tent if they prefer not to walk (see schedule below).

Vanderbilt Student Health is waiving the fee for University students who are normally charged for their flu shot. After Oct. 12, students will be charged $10 for their flu shot.

Prizes will be handed out randomly between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., including tickets to the Nashville Predators and Nashville Symphony, movie passes and more. A ride in the Vanderbilt hot air balloon will also be awarded to a participant who responds to a survey handed out in the tent.

Organizers of the event, who won’t know until paperwork is submitted whether Vanderbilt has broken the world record, are also reminding participants to wear short sleeves or sleeveless shirts if possible. If you’re wearing a jacket, make sure it’s one that can be taken off for the inoculation.

For more information about Flulapalooza visit Vanderbilt’s Occupational Health website at http://occupationalhealth.vanderbilt.edu/
 

Shuttle Routes

The following areas will be serviced by shuttles during the Flulapalooza World Record Hours of 7 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Peabody Campus Route:

Shuttle will make continuous loop from the Canopy at Medical Center North to the Peabody Administration Loop (Lot 95). Stops will be located at the Canopy at Medical Center North, Cohen Hall, and The Susan Grey School for Children.

Blakemore/Children’s Hospital Route

Shuttle will make continuous loop from the Children’s Hospital to the Round Wing. Stops will be located in the S Lot off of Blakemore, Children’s Hospital entrance, and the Round Wing. The normal Purple Route stops will be utilized by the Flulapalooza shuttle.

Kirkland Hall Route

Shuttle will make continuous loop from Kirkland Hall to the Round Wing. Stops will be located at Kirkland Hall, the corner of 24th Avenue and Vanderbilt Place (Sarratt Center), the corner of 25th Avenue and Vanderbilt Place (Memorial Gymnasium), and the Round Wing.

One Hundred Oaks Route

Shuttle will make continuous loop from One Hundred Oaks to the Canopy at Medical Center North. Stops will be located at Entrance A at OHO and the Canopy at Medical Center North. The last pickup at Entrance A will be at 2 p.m.

These shuttles will have a sign indicating it is a Flulapalooza shuttle. Medical Center shuttles will be running normal routes, so please make sure you are boarding the correct shuttle.