The University of Minnesota topped the world record for single-day flu shot vaccinations on Tuesday, and it may have the popularity of Facebook and YouTube to thank for giving its effort a little extra push.
In all, 11,538 shots were administered, surpassing the Guinness world record of 3,271 set in 2006 by a Florida hospital. Just before taking its poke at the world record, the university sent out an invite to students on Facebook and posted a low-budget advertisement for the event on YouTube.
In the short video, the university’s mascot, Goldy Gopher, wildly hunts down students and forces a giant toy syringe into their arms. “Don’t make Goldy chase you down to get your flu shot,” the video’s narrator says. The simple ad has been viewed more than 6,000 times since it was posted on October 23.
The university also received 2,000 positive responses to its Facebook invitation. Around 1,000 students said they planned to attend the immunization drive and another 1,000 said they’d consider it, Dave Golden, director of public health and communications at Boynton Health Service, a university clinic, told the Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy. In the future, Mr. Golden said, Facebook and YouTube will be used from the get-go.—David DeBolt