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Pen Bay Medical Center makes getting flu shots easier

By Susan Mustapich | Oct 07, 2020
Courtesy of: Penobscot Bay Family Medicine Center The team at Pen Bay Pediatrics in Rockport set up outdoors, to give flu shots to children and their families Sat. Sept. 26.

ROCKPORT — Pen Bay Pediatrics and Pen Bay Family Medicine provided around 400 flu shots to children and families Sept. 26 at an outdoor clinic, making it easier and safer to get a flu shot.

There were 150 flu shots administered to children six months or older, and another 250 flu shots administered to family members.

Two more outdoor flu shot clinics are scheduled for children six months of age and older on Saturday, Oct. 24 and Saturday, Nov. 21, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. These clinics are open to the public.

Families with children who are patients of Pen Bay Pediatrics and Family Medicine practices can also make appointments for the October and November outdoor clinics.

The practices ask that people bring their health insurance cards. Without insurance the fee is $21.58.

Pen Bay Pediatrics and Pen Bay Family Medicine are located at 7 Madelyn Lane in Rockport. Those making an appointment can call 301-5900.

Pen Bay Medical Center is also holding drive-through flu shot clinics on the hospital campus in Rockport Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Wednesdays from noon to 5 p.m. through Oct. 28.

These clinics are open to the public and anyone seven years of age and older can get a flu shot.

PBMC asks that people bring their health insurance cards. Those visiting the drive-thru clinics without insurance will be billed a nominal fee.

Getting a flu shot is more important than ever, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, according to Dr. Mark Eggena, chief medical officer at PBMC.

Eggena stressed that the flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19. However, preventing flu infections will allow hospitals, schools and businesses to better focus on navigating the pandemic.

One reason for this is that the flu and COVID-19 have some similar symptoms. If the flu flourishes, medical staff will have to don full protective gear and treat those with flu symptoms as possible COVID cases. In addition to straining COVID testing facilities, people sick with flu or seasonal bugs could face quarantine until COVID test results come back negative. This in turn could disrupt school schedules and businesses, Eggena said.

In addition to the clinics, patients of PBMC and WCGH can also receive flu shots from their primary care providers as well as from specialty care providers.

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