August 16, 2006

Contact: Lauren Cruse (505) 272-3690

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Albuquerque, UNM-Several University of New Mexico College of Pharmacy (UNM COP) students dedicated their time to help with the ninth annual Shots for Tots to Teens state-wide immunization program this August.

Some students offered assistance answering phone calls from people with questions about the immunization program while others worked at an actual clinic where children received free vaccinations for the new school year.

Anna Pentler, Executive Director of the New Mexico Immunization Coalition, said COP students have always volunteered at the clinics, assisting the nurses and preparing the vaccinations, but this was the first year COP students helped with answering the hotline the night before clinics around the state opened.

The COP values its partnership with the Shots for Tots to Teens program and the New Mexico Immunization Coalition. Pentler said the state of New Mexico is fortunate in that its pharmacists, who are trained in immunizations, have the authority to prescribe and administer vaccinations, making pharmacists critical partners in the immunization effort.

The Shots for Tots to Teens campaign kicked off on Saturday, August 12 with locations throughout the state offering free immunizations to children 18 and under just in time for the start of the school year. Children received vaccinations to help protect them against everything from measles and mumps to the chicken pox.

COP students who helped answer the immunization hotline on Friday night were Roberto Gomez, Ilnaz Shirkhorshidian, Summer Schroeder, Eric Uhl and Barbara Hamer. The students who worked at a clinic set up at the Karl Malone Toyota dealership in Albuquerque on Saturday were Kimberly Neff, Jennifer Smith, Samantha Feldner and Summer Schroeder.