Flu Vaccination Exercise

Obtain a free flu vaccine while helping our county practice responding to an emergency.


Since 2013, a signature event for the Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education is an emergency preparedness exercise conducted in conjunction with staff from our local Tompkins County Health Department. This exercise, referred to as Point of Dispensing or POD, uses the distribution of the annual flu vaccine to the entire College campus to simulate distributing vaccinations if there were ever an emergency event necessitating rapid vaccination.

Date, Time, Location

  • The flu vaccination exercise is an annual event held each year, typically around October.

  • It is held in Emerson Suites, on the Ithaca College campus. The exercise spans four hours, throughout the morning.

  • It is open to all faculty, staff, and students at Ithaca College. There is no cost to receive the vaccine. 

  • Specific information is posted on Intercom as the date of the event nears. 

Hands-On Practice

Public health emergency preparedness training is infused in our curriculum in several places. Our Foundations of Public Health course includes a two-day tabletop exercise where you are provided clues about a bioterrorism event and must work together with the other students in the class to identify the biological agent as well as the point of contamination. You must then collaborate to develop a community-wide response to contain the event, while negotiating public outcry and political pressure.

If you continue on into the Community Health course, you receive more in-depth training in emergency preparedness. You will register to become a Central New York Regional Medical Reserve Corps volunteer and complete all Level 3 training requirements. With this designation, you will play a key role in planning and implementing the annual POD to mass distribute flu vaccinations. In 2018, approximately 900 Ithaca College faculty, staff, and students received a vaccination during the exercise.

Ithaca College students fill about three quarter of the worker positions during the exercise, including three of the six leadership positions. Students rotate through a variety of roles from intake to vaccinator assistant. 

If you are interested in continuing your work in public health, several of our students complete internships at the Tompkins County Public Health Department each year.

NACCHO Best Practice Award

The Tompkins County Health Department was selected as a 2019 Model Practice Award winner by National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) for its partnership with the Ithaca College Department of Health Promotion & Physical Education for this exercise, and its involvement with our first year students in a tabletop practice exercise and as an internship site for our upper level students. 


Mary Bentley, Associate Professor
Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education
G48 Hill Center
Ithaca College
953 Danby Road
Ithaca, NY 14850