For Immediate Release
FAMU Launches Call the Shots to Encourage the Flu Vaccine
Tallahassee, FL (November 13, 2020) – Today the Florida A&M University and its College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health (FAMU CoPPS, IPH) launched the Call the Shots campaign to urge the community to follow the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation for everyone age six months and older to get an annual flu vaccine. The initiative kicked off with FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. and the FAMU CoPPS, IPH Dean Johnnie L. Early II, PhD, RPh, Fellow NPhA getting their flu shot on campus
FAMU is a pillar in the community and is using its network of students, alumni, and community partners, like Immunize Florida—a grassroots network of neighbors, community leaders, and healthcare professionals—to encourage and ensure equal access to flu vaccines this flu season as our community continues to fight COVID-19.
“It is always important to get your flu vaccination, but as our community continues to fight COVID-19 it is especially important for anyone six months and older,” said Claudia Blackburn, MPH, RN, Health Officer, Leon County Health Department. “In 2019, we lost 2,703 Floridians to influenza and pneumonia. Pneumonia is often a complication from the flu. Compounded with a global pandemic, our bodies and healthcare systems could use all the protection we can possibly get this year. I’m thankful for the work of FAMU and Immunize Florida, and excited to promote this initiative to ensure community access to vaccines for preventable diseases, like the flu.”
FAMU President Larry Robinson, Ph.D., said given the threat posed by the global pandemic, everyone should take advantage of flu shots.
“COVID-19 has put a spotlight on what can happen to communities and persons of color where there are underlying health disparities when faced with a major public health threat. Call the Shots provides an opportunity for individuals to protect themselves, their families and their communities. That’s the truly important message,” Robinson said. “COVID-19 is disrupting households, communities, and businesses, even how we operate at Florida A&M University. This flu season can compound those issues. That’s why I am urging everyone to go out and get their flu shot.”
According to the CDC, getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever during 2020-2021 to protect yourself and the people around you from flu, and to help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Call the Shots hopes to bridge the gap and offer science-backed education on the importance of immunizations and how the community can gain access to these preventative services.
Local partners at Southeastern Center for Infectious Diseases, Leon County Health Department, Neighborhood Medical Center, Bond Community Health Center, and CVS Pharmacy will be administering the flu vaccine throughout flu season. The full list of community partners that will administer the flu vaccine, as well as other vaccines, will be updated here: http://pharmacy.famu.edu/call-the-shots-community-partners/.
About Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health
The College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Institute of Public Health (CoPPS, IPH) has a rich history of producing high-caliber graduates capable of providing exceptional pharmaceutical care. The CoPPS, IPH unique program focuses on academic excellence, research superiority and community service which allows us to prepare students for leading roles in the practice of pharmacy, research, and public health. Founded 69 years ago (in 1951) the CoPPS, IPH graduate more 60% of the nation’s Ph.Ds in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Today, the Blue Ridge Institute ranked the college number 12 among the top colleges and schools of pharmacy in the nation. In keeping with the FAMU’s mission, the college is dedicated to Academic excellence, research superiority, and community service. The college is accredited through the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, the national agency for the accreditation of professional degree programs in pharmacy and providers of continuing pharmacy education. Learn more by visiting pharmacy.famu.edu.
About Immunize Florida:
Immunize Florida is a grassroots network uniting parents, educators, students, healthcare professionals, and community leaders dedicated to achieving and maintaining full immunization to protect Floridians from vaccine-preventable diseases. By promoting awareness, education, and advocating for science-based immunization policies, Immunize Florida is working to keep Floridians healthy. Learn more by visiting ImmunizeFL.com.