On Monday, October 23rd and Friday, October 27th, 2017, two groups of student pharmacists from the University of Charleston School of Pharmacy volunteered at Sacred Heart Daycare Center, in Charleston, WV. The event, the Teddy Bear Flu Clinic, allowed student pharmacists to pass out teddy bears to students ranging from ages 5 – 12 years old, to show them that getting the flu shot is not scary. The student pharmacists explained to the children that flu shots are nothing to be afraid of, and, in fact, they are important to get every year. The student pharmacists allowed the children to draw back a syringe (without a needle) and give their teddy bear a “flu shot.” After each child gave their bear a shot, the student pharmacists helped fill out “prescriptions” for the bears, indicating what kind of love and care the bear would need afterward. The children were very enthusiastic and enjoyed learning about flu shots and why they are so important. In fact, many of the children were excited to go get their flu shot next!
This event showed that student pharmacists are always willing to give their time back to their community. With pharmacists being more accessible than any other healthcare professional, it shows the importance of their vaccination privileges. As of right now, pharmacists in West Virginia have the ability to prescribe and administer vaccines, but are limited by an age restriction of 18 years or older. It is important for us continue to support pharmacists in gaining more vaccination privileges.
We would like to thank the Student Society of Health-Systems Pharmacy (SSHP) for organizing this event as well as providing the teddy bears and certificates. Additional thanks are extended towards Sacred Heart Daycare for allowing us to come teach your children about influenza vaccinations and the importance to getting vaccines.