LincolnHealth staff administered 88 influenza vaccinations via drive-through at St. Andrews Urgent Care in Boothbay Harbor and 208 at the Miles campus in Damariscotta Sept. 25. The clinics were the first ahead of the typically 13-week long flu season which generally starts in October.
Program Manager AnniPat McKenney and Patient Service Representative Liz Berry took recipients’ information as they pulled around the John F. Andrews Medical Arts Center. Registered Nurse Elsa Parson oversaw the process as Medical Assistants Trina Lewis and Loretta Raburn administered doses.
“Getting your vaccine helps build your immunity and helps stop the spread of the disease in the community, similar to the COVID vaccine,” Raburn said.
“Whether the flu vaccine or a COVID vaccine, you get them because it aids you, even if you catch the flu, to not get it as bad as you could,” Lewis added.
LincolnHealth will hold the drive-through clinics again from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 2 and will assess if there is an interest in, or need for, more on weekends through October, said McKenney. Anybody from 6 months of age and up can come to the clinic, even if from out-of-state. LincolnHealth will likely hold clinics in some schools and long-term care facilities as well, said Berry.
The Wiscasset Lincoln Medical Partners Office on Hooper Street will also be offering vaccines on Saturdays, Oct. 9 and 23 in its parking lot from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The clinic’s team members agreed the importance of getting vaccinated cannot be stressed enough especially after seeing a dramatic decrease in flu cases last year from increases in vaccinations, social distancing and use of masks.
Said Parson, “If people aren't getting the flu and people who are compromised aren't getting pneumonia and they're not ending up in the hospital where it's already strained, that should be the biggest draw to do it.”