The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

UI student pharmacists administer free flu vaccines at Hy-Vee

UI student pharmacists Kelly Vu and Jacob Kokko-Ludemann administered flu vaccines to the general public on Tuesday.
Henry Tran
The front counter of Hy-vee pharmacy is seen on Sept. 19, 2023.

University of Iowa Pharmacy students administered flu vaccines Tuesday at the Hy-Vee located at 1720 Waterfront Drive in Iowa City, making it more convenient for the public to receive their shots before flu season reaches its peak.

The UI College of Pharmacy started training students to administer immunizations in 2004, according to UI Public Relations Manager Chris Brewer. Now, over 110 students are currently administering vaccines throughout the community.

Kelly Vu and Jacob Kokko-Ludemann are UI College of Pharmacy third-year students and administered vaccines at Hy-Vee for the past two years.

“All first-years go through vaccine training, and once they are certified they get to go out into the field and administer vaccines,” Vu said.

Flu season is typically late September to mid-October or early November, Kokko-Ludemann said. Currently, the number of people coming in to receive flu vaccines is low, but the demand will pick up again as October approaches.

Research shows that those who receive the flu vaccine are 40 to 60 percent less likely to contract the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC encourages the public to get their flu vaccine this year as the virus is constantly changing.

Vu’s motivation to become a pharmacist stems from helping her family members remember when to take their medications and how much of the medication to take. This grew her interest in the health care and pharmacy field.

RELATED: UI researchers make advances toward a vaccine for RSV

“I wanted to learn more about how the medications work within the body,” Vu said.

Kokko-Ludemann grew up in a small town in northern Wisconsin where his local pharmacy was the main hub for medicine.

“The pharmacists know everybody, and everybody knows the pharmacist,” Kokko-Ludemann said. “I wanted to be a part of the healthcare that gives back to smaller communities and really makes a difference.”

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About the Contributors
Shreya Reddy
Shreya Reddy, News Reporter
Shreya Reddy is a freshman at the University of Iowa. Coming from a small town in Kansas, Shreya is double majoring in English and Political Science on the Pre-Law track. Before coming to the Daily Iowan, she has written for her neighborhood magazine and her schools literary magazine as well as writing an investigative journalism piece.
Henry Tran
Henry Tran, Graphic Designer & Photojournalist
Henry is a third-year student at The University of Iowa majoring in 3D design.