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Flu shots on campus at an all-time high

MIT Medical staff members administer flu shots on the third floor of the Student Center.
MIT Medical staff members administer flu shots on the third floor of the Student Center.
Photo: Kim Schive

After two flu clinics on campus, MIT Medical is headed for a record year for vaccinations.

At the first clinic for patients of MIT Medical’s Pediatrics Service on Sept. 28, medical staff administered 550 doses of flu vaccine to children and family members.

And there were even more vaccinations at the Oct. 5 clinic for staff and students: MIT Medical staff members brought what they thought would be plenty of vaccine and supplies to the Student Center, “but I had to go back twice for more,” said Phyllis Winn, administrative coordinator for pediatrics and primary care. ”The line just never stopped.” About 2,200 vaccinations were given that day.

Before this year, the highest number of people vaccinated at a single clinic at MIT was about 1,500 doses. “We went far beyond anything we’d done before,” said Deborah Friscino, director of operations at MIT Medical. “Our staff worked tirelessly with no breaks — maybe a quick bite for lunch and that was it.”

In addition to MIT Medical employees, staff from the Emergency Operations Center were involved in organizing volunteers from several other areas of the Institute — including the Department of Facilities and Housing Office — to help out at the clinics.

This year’s flu shot protects against three flu viruses: an H3N2 virus, an influenza B virus and the H1N1 virus that caused so much illness last season. Even people who got the H1N1 and/or seasonal flu vaccination last year should still get the 2010 flu vaccine.

There will be another walk-in clinic for MIT students only today; a clinic for MIT Health Plan members (employees and enrolled dependents), employees enrolled in any other MIT-sponsored health plan, retirees, and students will take place on Monday, Oct. 18. There are some medical restrictions on who may receive flu shots at these clinics (for example, pregnant women are not eligible). To make appointments for flu shots at other times, call 617-253-4865.

For details on flu clinics and other flu-related information, see MIT Flu Central:

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