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Local flu clinic has international scope

October 24, 2016 — 

On October 24, nearly 200 students from the Max Rady College of Medicine and the Colleges of Pharmacy and Nursing administered free flu vaccines to the public at the University of Manitoba’s Bannatyne & Fort Garry campuses and the University of Winnipeg.

Clinics were offered on October 24 & 25, 31 and November 1 to 4, 2016, in the hope of immunizing over 1,500 individuals.
For Cortney Desrochers, a fourth year nursing student, access to flu vaccinations plays a vital role in public health.

“Free flu clinics are important because influenza is a serious illness and receiving the flu vaccine is the best defence,” Desrochers said. “When you receive the influenza vaccine you are not only protecting yourself, but everyone around you including young children, pregnant woman, the elderly and immunocompromised.”

This is the first year that pharmacy, nursing and medicine students will be collaborating interprofessionally at these vaccination clinics. Interprofessional healthcare preceptors from medicine, nursing and pharmacy are also volunteering their time as supervisors.

According to Dr. Dana Turcotte, Instructor, College of Pharmacy, this year’s clinic contributed more than just flu vaccinations at the local level.

“This year at our largest outreach initiative at the University of Winnipeg donated five dollars for every influenza vaccination given to UNICEF to fund vaccination efforts in developing countries,” Turcotte said.

“Our goal is to provide a convenient, safe and comfortable environment in order to encourage as many individuals as possible to be vaccinated and – as an added bonus – those being immunized will be helping to increase vaccine accessibility to those in developing countries around the world.”

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