student preparing hypodermic needle
A WSU College of Nursing student prepared a vaccine at the Healthy People + Healthy Pets clinic held at WSU Health Sciences Spokane in November. Photo by Cori Kogan. 

Nearly 800 children and adults in Spokane County are protected against flu, chickenpox, measles, shingles and other illnesses thanks to students and faculty at Washington State University Health Sciences. 

Students from the WSU College of Nursing and WSU College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences volunteered at nearly 30 free vaccination clinics around Spokane County this fall. These community-based clinics were held in public schools, shelters, churches, libraries and low‑income apartment complexes.

The Spokane Regional Health District provides the supplies and vaccines.

WSU students and faculty have worked with the health district on the program for about four years, said Kari Lidbeck, the district’s Immunization Community Network Specialist.

“Without the students we could not provide the services we do,” she said.

Flu shots are by far the most common immunizations given at the community-based clinics, followed by Tdap, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (whooping cough).

Sarah Griffith, an instructor at the College of Nursing, said the vaccination clinics are “a wonderful community partnership” between WSU Health Sciences colleges and the Spokane Regional Health District.

Vaccination clinics by the numbers

  • 1,155: Number of immunizations administered
  • 778: Number of people served
  • 16: Types of vaccines offered

–Story by Addy Hatch