Father and son pharmacists Doug Franzoni (L) and DJ Franzoni (R) pictured with Superintendent David Young at one of six district flu shot clinics.

Franzoni Team Partners to Fight Flu

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Wednesday December 05, 2012

The holiday season is a messy blend of thanksgiving, joy, and chaos. While on the run to complete a perpetual list of errands and work obligations, the last thing anyone wants is to become ill. Father-son pharmacists Doug Franzoni and DJ Franzoni of South Burlington  generously helped to make good health a priority for the school community by administering six flu shot clinics in October.

While driving past the high school on his daily route to work at Hannaford Bros. Co.’s Dorset Street location, Doug Franzoni had a revelation about connecting his work and his community.

“I’ve got a good idea and I’ll see if they’re interested,” is what ran through his mind, he said.

The following day, Doug called his neighbor, Superintendent David Young, who Doug says was excited about the idea. Caryl Davidson, a school nurse, shared the enthusiasm.

DJ Franzoni, 25, works as a pharmacist at Hannaford’s in Williston, and decided to help his father without hesitation.  DJ is a 2005 graduate of  South Burlington High School.

In October, the Franzonis administered a total of 203 flu shots at six different locations—one clinic at each school and one at the bus garage. According to Davidson, the numbers reflect a big increase from the typical average of 125 shots per year.

“[The shot] takes two weeks to kick in, so October is a good time to start next year,” Doug Franzoni said. “We want to reach out and do as many as we can.”

Even though the Franzonis already raised the bar, they are far from completing their goal. Doug and DJ hope to help the 500-plus South Burlington school district employees eliminate the chance of getting the flu next year. 

The pharmacists, who both passed the American Pharmacist Association (APhA) certification test, are only permitted to provide the shot to people 18 and older, therefore, they could not service students. Down the road, if the age requirement is lowered to the mid-teens, DJ says they could cover the majority of the high school.

In their plans to expand coverage for the next flu season, Doug and DJ are also hoping to have the SB Police and Fire departments receive shots next year as well as other city employees. Those who are familiar with flu symptoms will most likely take the Franzonis up on their offer next year.

“The biggest advocate for getting a flu shot is after getting the flu,” DJ said. “It’s a catastrophic thing and it is so debilitating.”

Another incentive is cost, as most, if not all employees, should be covered under their health insurance plan. “No one had to pay out-of-pocket,” DJ said.

Not keen on the needle? Perhaps a sweet tooth will do the trick. Doug recalled helping an elderly woman who walked into Hannaford’s recently.

“I’ll give you a lollipop if you don’t cry,” Doug told her. It worked.

SOURCE: Miranda Jonswold, Correspondent