Flulapalooza returns to protect thousands from flu
After a two-year pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Flulapalooza returned in person and thousands of Vanderbilt employees and students flocked to the daylong event.October 5, 2022
All photos by Erin O. Smith
The 10th anniversary of Flulapalooza, VUMC’s annual vaccination event, was held on Wednesday, Sept. 28, in a tent between Light Hall and the VA Hospital. After hosting two alternative flu campaigns in 2020 and 2021, VUMC’s Health and Wellness and Occupational Health Clinic team was eager to see VUMC and VU colleagues in person this year for the mass vaccination event. Judging by the numbers, the feeling was mutual.
This year, Flulapalooza served nearly 10,000 faculty, staff, postdoc scholars and students in a 12-hour period — 9,913 flu vaccinations, to be exact. The vaccines were given thanks to the collective efforts of many departments across the Medical Center. More than 300 clinical and non-clinical volunteers helped make the event possible.
Flulapalooza was more than just about administering flu vaccinations this year. Remote and work-from-home employees had an opportunity to connect with one another on campus. Many reunited face-to-face for the first time in two years and regained a sense of connectedness.
“Bringing this event back to campus is important in reducing the spread of the flu and lowering the risk of possible serious illness, hospitalization, and even death in others,” said Lori Rolando, MD, MPH, FACOEM, director of the Occupational Health Clinic. “Not only is it our mission to protect our employees against physical illness, but we also want to boost their mental and emotional well-being. Seeing everyone on campus smiling and reconnecting was great, and we hope it brought a sense of connectedness to all employees.”
Flu vaccines can take up to two weeks after being administered to provide full protection. For more information about the flu and flu vaccines, visit the OHC Employee Influenza Vaccine Program.