December 1, 2011

It's official: Flulapalooza shatters Guinness World Record

by Nancy Humphrey

Vanderbilt University Medical Center holds the world record for the most vaccinations given in eight hours, according to a recent notification from Guinness World Records (GWR).

The achievement – 12,850 flu shots given during October’s Flulapalooza - was announced at this morning's Leadership Assembly by Melanie Swift, M.D., medical director of Vanderbilt’s Occupational Health, who, with Pam Hoffner, MSN, R.N., director of Emergency Preparedness at VUMC, presented an official world record certificate to Jeff Balser, M.D., Ph.D., vice chancellor for Health Affairs and dean of the School of Medicine.

The announcement also included a video message from Bruce Gellin, M.D., deputy assistant secretary for Health and director of the National Vaccine Program Office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

GWR has not updated its website to show that Vanderbilt holds the record, but Swift was recently notified that VUMC more than doubled the previous world record, 6,215, held by San Diego’s Kaiser Permanente. Free flu vaccines were given to University and Medical Center faculty, staff, volunteers and students during a daylong event on Oct. 12.

Forty-four nurses in four lines worked simultaneously inoculating participants.