December 12, 2018

Mascots get flu shots in VUMC “anti-viral” video

Even canines, chickens and sabre-tooth tigers need protection

The holiday season isn’t the only season ramping into full swing, but it certainly is the more fun of the two.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu season in the United States peaks between December and February, just in time for holiday gatherings and the sharing of meals. And, as Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s new video depicts, no one is immune — not even mascots.

In the video, Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt’s mascot, Champ, is joined by team mascots from the Nashville Predators (Gnash) and the Nashville Sounds (Booster) in a VUMC walk-in clinic to receive their influenza vaccines. A few Band-Aids, high-fives and awkward dance moves later, the trio is ready to get back to work safely greeting fans all season long.

“Nobody wants to be the ‘dreaded spreader’ who makes others sick, so let’s all get vaccinated — for our own benefit and for those around us.”

“Champ missed Flulapalooza and needed to get his flu vaccine. And, as the official health care provider for the Predators and the Sounds, it’s our job to make sure Booster and Gnash received their shots as well,” explained Cynthia Manley, VUMC’s director of content and social media engagement. “As Dr. William Schaffner says in the video, we want to keep them healthy and able to do their important work throughout the holidays — and in Gnash’s case, all the way to the Stanley Cup!”

Unfortunately, Vanderbilt University’s Mr. Commodore had class during the video’s production, but he was able to receive his vaccine at Flulapalooza.

Manley and William Schaffner, MD, professor of Preventive Medicine, hope the video will serve as a fun reminder to both VUMC employees and patients that receiving their annual flu vaccine is important — not only for their own health, but for the health of those around them.

“Every year, influenza causes thousands of people to get sick, have to visit their doctor or the emergency department, be hospitalized and even die. Even healthy children and young adults can become gravely ill,” said Schaffner.

“Influenza is serious, and the best way to prevent it is by the influenza vaccine. The vaccine is not perfect, but it can prevent the illness completely and make the disease less severe if it is contracted by preventing complications such as pneumonia and the need to be hospitalized. Those who are vaccinated are also less likely to spread the virus to others.”

“Nobody wants to be the ‘dreaded spreader’ who makes others sick, so let’s all get vaccinated — for our own benefit and for those around us,” Schaffner added.

Vanderbilt’s numerous walk-in clinic locations make it easy to stop for a quick vaccine visit close to home or work. Find the most convenient care option for you by visiting myhealthwalkin.com.

After all, don’t you want to look as happy as these guys do?