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Student Pharmacists Providing Flu Shots to UM Community

By Whitney Tarpy

University of Mississippi Communications

University of Mississippi student pharmacist Lindsey Simmerman gives a flu shot to fellow pharmacy student Patrick Benton in the Grove. Student pharmacists will be providing flu shots on several dates this fall through the School of Pharmacy’s annual Operation Immunization. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

As flu season quickly approaches, faculty and students at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy are making it easy to stay safe without leaving campus by providing the flu vaccine through Operation Immunization.

In conjunction with a national campaign driven by the American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists, the UM chapter of the organization has coordinated multiple opportunities for faculty, staff, students and community members to get flu shots.

Operation Immunization’s goal is to increase the public’s knowledge of immunizations while also increasing the number of adults receiving immunizations. 

“It is always essential that people get their flu vaccines, and with COVID-19 and its variants still very active, it will be more important than ever this year,” said Lauren Bloodworth, clinical professor of pharmacy practice and an APhA-ASP adviser. “Getting a flu shot can reduce severe illness and hospitalization, and hopefully keep you and everyone around you well.”

The event benefits both pharmacy students and those being immunized, as noted by second-year student pharmacist Bailey Bridges, chair of the Operation Immunization campaign.

“I think as student pharmacists, Operation Immunization gives us a unique opportunity to put our clinical skills we have been taught to the test,” Bridges said. “It gives us the ability to not only immunize, but take part in the promotion of vaccines on our campus.

“While Operation Immunization is responsible for flu vaccines, I think that our leadership on campus in promoting health and wellness can make an impact on our peers. Now more than ever, it is important that we use all of the tools available to us to stay well.”

Flu shots will be given:

  • Sept. 29 – Galtney-Lott Plaza, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Oct. 5 – Grove Stage, 1-4 p.m.
  • Oct. 6 – Student Union Patio, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Oct. 12 – Galtney-Lott Plaza, 1-4 p.m.
  • Oct. 14 – Sandy and John Black Pavilion at Ole Miss, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

The cost is $40, and can be billed to most insurance plans. University students, faculty and staff should bring their Ole Miss ID and prescription insurance card. What insurance doesn’t cover can be charged to Bursar accounts. For most major insurance providers, the copay for flu vaccines is no charge.

The flu vaccine is also available at the Pharmacy Health Services, inside the V.B. Harrison Health Center on campus, during its operation hours.

For more information on Operation Immunization visit https://pharmacy.olemiss.edu/operation-immunization/. For key facts about the flu and flu vaccine, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionwebsite.

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