On Friday, October 9, PNWU’s Infectious Disease Club hosted their annual flu shot clinic. Under physician guidance, PNWU medical students helped to safely administer 119 flu shots during the afternoon clinic.
“This clinic has been provided by the Infectious Disease Club here at PNWU for quite a few years now, and as the club President, I wanted to continue offering this service to our PNWU community,” explained second-year PNWU student doctor Rachel Kim. “Flu vaccines are a part of our required immunizations as healthcare professionals and I think it is important to provide it in an easily accessible way.”
As they do each year, the club connected with Tieton Village Drugs to provide the vaccine doses. They also worked with facilities, security, and logistics support to coordinate a safe, socially distanced, COVID-19-friendly event. In addition to offering vital vaccines, the flu shot clinic also provided an environment for faculty, staff and students to interact with each other outside of the classroom — a rare thing these days. For Kim, that interaction included an opportunity to connect with Dr. Thomas Scandalis, Dean of PNWU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.
“I am so impressed this year with the turn-out,” said Dr. Kim Taylor, PNWU’s Chief of Microbiology. As the Infectious Disease Club’s faculty advisor, Dr. Taylor assisted in facilitation of the approval process, mentoring of the club’s student leadership in its history and how it is usually done, and logistics of offering the event during a pandemic and the needed infection control to safely facilitate the event. “While we offer this popular event each year, we did see an increased importance to its offering this year; the possible “twindemic” of influenza and COVID-19 presented an increased importance on getting a flu vaccine.”
“I would really like to extend a huge shout out to Brent Perrin and Student Affairs in their support of the Infectious Disease Club’s efforts and work through the event planning and risk assessment process,” added Dr. Taylor. “It not only provided a needed immunization opportunity, but allowed the students administering the vaccinations to increase their clinical skills in this area — an opportunity they would not have had if not for the team work of our wonderful team members!”
In addition to hosting these clinics limited to the PNWU community, Kim explained, the Infectious Disease Club is working towards providing them for the greater Yakima community to reduce access to immunizations for low socioeconomic and/or homeless communities and provide opportunities for students to interact and give back to our community.