Eastern Area Agency on Aging hosts first vaccine clinic of the season

Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 5:47 PM EDT
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BREWER, Maine (WABI) - Maine’s five Area Agencies on Aging are teaming up to make it easier for older adults and adults with disabilities to get vaccinated this fall.

It’s made possible by a new initiative called AgeWise Maine.

TV5 stopped by today’s vaccine clinic in Brewer to see the effort in action.

Now that the calendar has flipped to October, it’s time to start planning for the colder months ahead. Some Mainers spent a few minutes Monday afternoon getting up-to-date on their seasonal shots at a vaccine clinic at the Durgin Center in Brewer

“I signed up because it just made the most sense. It’s very convenient. This is a convenient and wonderful place for people to visit,” said Fay-Ellen Haddix, who received both her COVID and flu vaccines.

Eastern Area Agency on Aging partnered with AgeWise Maine, Northern Light Health, and USAging to make the clinic possible.

“With our community that we serve, the immune system is something that isn’t always as high as you would find with someone that’s younger. So, I think everyone is a little bit more conscious about how they can get protected and it’s another way that we can take care of our community members,” said Christopher Hill, communications and development director, EAAA.

Both the standard flu shot and the high-dose version for those 65-and-older were available, as well as the most up-to-date COVID vaccine.

And, yes, experts say you can get both at the same time.

“This is the perfect time to get both vaccines,” said Bonnie Allard, RN, Northern Light Home Care & Hospice. “Neither of them are live virus vaccines, so it’s fine to get them both on the same day. I actually had both of mine on the same day on Thursday and was totally fine.”

More than 30 people pre-registered and others came through the door as walk-ins. Organizers were happy to see so many Mainers taking a proactive approach to their health.

“Taking care of the health of our aging community members is of the utmost importance because if you don’t have great health, you can’t take advantage of those other services. So, being able to provide another outlet for people to take care of themselves and to link people with those resources, it’s huge for us,” Hill said.

“It’s really important and I do feel like we’re getting a lot of people coming in, taking the vaccine, taking advantage of getting that early protection,” Allard said.

“Well, the importance almost goes without saying. It’s the protection that we can avail ourselves of, and it’s very important,” said Haddix. “None of us want to get sick.

This was the agency’s first vaccine clinic of the season. Others include:

Oct. 11, 2023 – Sullivan Town Office, Sullivan ME – 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Oct. 23, 2023 – Piscataquis Regional YMCA, Dover Foxcroft, ME – 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Nov. 6, 2023 – Durgin Center, Brewer ME – 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

To find or register for clinic in your area, visit AgeWiseMaine.org.