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Student-Run Thanksgiving Event Served Flu Vaccines With a Side of Community

Dec. 8, 2020

This post is by Thomas Varkey, MBA, a third-year medical student at Dell Medical School.

The Thanksgiving holiday often brings back memories of family gatherings, large meals and the annual ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot in Austin. However, for six Dell Medical School students, this year’s holiday also involved service to the community. In conjunction with the H-E-B pharmacy department and the Austin Latino Coalition, these students provided influenza vaccinations at a drive-thru event held at Metz-Sanchez Elementary School on Nov. 21.

 A Dell Med student preparing a flu shot.
 Two Dell Med students preparing flu shots.
 Two Dell Med students preparing flu shots.
A Dell Med student preparing a flu shot.
Dell Med students in a group displaying the "hook 'em" hand sign at their flu vaccine event.

Medical students Kaylee O’Connor, Evelyn Bodenschatz, Payton Hughes, Garrett Bourne, Safiyya Zaidi and I administered the vaccinations to children and adults who either walked up or came through the drive-in area. Preceptors John Luk, M.D., and Craig Hurwitz, M.D., of the Department of Pediatrics supervised our administration of the vaccines. Over the four-hour morning event, we administered 143 potentially life-saving flu vaccinations to community members.

“It was such a positive experience to work together with members of H-E-B’s pharmacy department as well as the Austin Latino Coalition to provide vaccines to members of our community,” Bourne, a third-year medical student, said. “With so many people coming with friends and family to get their shots together, it really helped ensure we all felt a sense of community the whole time!”

With such a wonderful turnout from the community, Dell Med students hope that our community will have a better flu season this year.

If you are interested in either getting involved with a flu-shot event or hosting one, please email John Luk.