The Aroostook Medical Center to hold drive-up, walk-in flu shot clinics

12 years ago

Getting a flu shot this fall is as easy as rolling down your car window and pulling up your sleeves. After successfully trialing the concept in 2011, The Aroostook Medical Center (TAMC) is bringing back a drive-up flu shot clinic in Presque Isle.

“Last year, we learned that other hospitals in Maine — and beyond — had offered people this new way to get vaccinated, and we wanted to give it a try,” said Dr. Jay Reynolds, TAMC’s chief medical officer and chief operating officer. “We discovered that people really like the convenience, and some people who otherwise would not have gotten a flu shot came out to be vaccinated.”

The Presque Isle event is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 20 from 10 a.m.-noon at A.R. Gould Memorial Hospital on Academy Street.

“To get a flu shot at the drive-up clinics, simply follow the signs in the parking lot, put down your window, complete some very simple paperwork, and roll up your sleeve,” said Reynolds. “Our flu shot crew will administer the vaccine as you sit in your car. After you receive your flu shot, you can be on your way. It really is the easiest way to get vaccinated.”

Flu shots offered at TAMC’s fall clinics are provided free of charge and are appropriate for adults of all ages. According to Reynolds, the drive-up clinics will appeal to anyone who is looking for an easy way to get vaccinated, including young adults and families.

“TAMC’s Fall Health Fair Saturday, Oct. 13 will appeal to people who want to interact with vendors, take advantage of health screenings, and listen to presentations about our area’s health care history,” Reynolds said. “But for those with particularly busy lives and others who are looking for a quick way to get a flu shot, the drive-up clinics are the way to go.”

TAMC is emphasizing flu vaccination because, according to the CDC, all adults should get a flu shot. When more people get vaccinated, the spread of the disease decreases, which helps protect everyone, especially older adults, the chronically ill, young children, and others who are at higher risk of developing complications from getting the flu.

“Getting a flu shot is one of the most important things people can do to remain healthy this fall and winter,” said Jennifer Tweedie, TAMC’s infection prevention coordinator. “Even younger adults should get the vaccine. Any side effects are minor and last a very short time, and contrary to what some believe, you cannot get the flu as a result of getting vaccinated.”

In addition to the drive-up event in Presque Isle, TAMC is offering traditional walk-in clinics in several Aroostook County towns during the month of October. Clinics are planned at the Fort Fairfield Health Center and at the Mars Hill Fire House Wednesday, Oct. 10 from 4-6 p.m. A clinic will be held at the Ashland Health Center Thursday, Oct. 11 from 4-6 p.m. Health center staff from each community will be on hand to give flu shots and answer questions.

For more information about TAMC’s fall flu shot schedule, please visit www.tamc.org or call 768-4044.