Vaccinate the Dean: Get a jump on flu like Giacomini

With the looming threat of another “tripledemic”—when a potent flu virus, resurgent COVID-19, and rebounding RSV have the potential to peak simultaneously and strain health care systems—Dean Kathy Giacomini, PhD, BSPharm, emphasized the importance of getting a flu vaccine by rolling up her sleeve on September 6 for the annual Vaccinate the Dean event.

In what has become a tradition, Student American Pharmacists Association (APhA) Chapter Vice President Emil Tran presented Giacomini with a proclamation issued by San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed. The mayor recognized October as American Pharmacists Month.

Tran, a second-year PharmD student, administered Giacomini’s vaccine under the watchful eye of Associate Professor Crystal Zhou, PharmD. Also in attendance were Vice Dean and Chief of Staff Lawrence Lin, PhD, and Student APhA Chapter President Keya Patel.

“Because of the pandemic, there has been vaccine hesitancy, and it’s important to show that vaccines are safe, especially the flu,” Tran said. “It’s the most important thing we can do to keep ourselves and those around us safe.”

Group holds proclamation.

Second-year PharmD student Emil Tran (left), Dean Kathy Giacomini, PhD, BSPharm (center), and Student APhA Chapter President Keya Patel (right) hold a mayoral proclamation for American Pharmacists Month.

Patel thanked Tran for organizing the ceremony, which highlights vaccines as vital for personal protection, as well as to protect family, colleagues, patients, and our communities. She noted that Tran adapted the format this year, partnering with Student Health to bring the vaccine delivery in-house.

Vaccination due diligence

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urge everyone six months and older to get a flu vaccine every year as a safe and effective way to prevent mild to severe illness that can lead to hospitalization, or in worst-case scenarios, death.

“The vaccination program around the country has been excellent for the profession, to showcase pharmacists as health care professionals,” said Giacomini. “That has been underplayed, but it’s now in the light, and we see how crucial pharmacists are in the community.”

UCSF mandates precaution and preparedness

County public health authorities require anyone working in a health care facility––including faculty, staff, learners, and volunteers at UCSF, Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, and UCSF Fresno––to get a flu shot prior to the start of the flu season, which officially begins on November 1. As a condition of employment, UCSF Medical Center requires submission of either documentation or declination of your flu shot by this deadline.

The UCSF community has several options and locations available for flu vaccinations, including on-site flu clinics, occupational health clinics, primary care providers, and most pharmacies.


School of Pharmacy, PharmD Degree Program

About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy aims to solve the most pressing health care problems and strives to ensure that each patient receives the safest, most effective treatments. Our discoveries seed the development of novel therapies, and our researchers consistently lead the nation in NIH funding. The School’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program, with its unique emphasis on scientific thinking, prepares students to be critical thinkers and leaders in their field.