URI Pharmacy students battle the flu

About 150 students, faculty, staff vaccinated in Avedisian Hall

Fourth-year Pharmacy student Erin Connolly injects Xiaofeng Lin with the flu vaccine during a clinic in Avedisian Hall Monday.

University of Rhode Island pharmacy students vaccinated about 150 students, faculty and staff members against the flu during a clinic in Avedisian Hall Tuesday.

All members of the URI community — 19 years of age or older — were welcome to get a free flu shot administered by a pharmacy major. It is the seventh year the College of Pharmacy has provided the clinic on campus, organized by Virginia Lemay, clinical associate professor of pharmacy. The program allows students to gain practical experience while filling a public health role in the community, she said.

RiteAid Pharmacy provided the vaccines free of charge to anyone with health insurance. Patients simply filled out a screening form to ensure they had no allergies to ingredients in the vaccine.

Getting a flu vaccine is the easiest and best way to protect oneself from the potentially deadly virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. The vaccine is updated each year to protect against the most common strains of the disease currently circulating. The CDC recommends people of all ages get the shot, even if they are generally in good health

“The more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from flu, including older people, very young children, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications,” the CDC website reads.

Pharmacy student Kailtlyn Krajanowski administers the flu shot to sophomore Pharmacy student Aaron Shaposhnikov.

The College of Pharmacy — part of the Academic Health Collaborative along with the Colleges of Health Sciences and Nursing — is housed in Avedisian Hall, 7 Greenhouse Road.