Geisinger Offering No-cost, Drive-thru Flu Shot Clinics Members News September 10, 2020 The best defense against getting the flu is to get a flu shot, and this year it’s more important than ever to get one. Geisinger is making it even easier to get your flu shot by offering drive-thru flu vaccine clinics through early November. Geisinger’s health and wellness team is hosting communitywide drive-thru clinics throughout central and northeast Pennsylvania. These drive-thru events are open to the public and are only for people older than 18. The flu shots are available at no cost. Geisinger primary care offices are also hosting drive-thru clinics for patients and Geisinger Health Plan members ages 3 and older. These will take place in September, but patients can visit their Geisinger primary care office anytime for a flu shot. It’s recommended that everyone age 6 months and older get vaccinated against the flu every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Caregivers for children between 6 months and 3 years old, who can’t be vaccinated at the Geisinger primary care drive-thru events, should make an appointment with their pediatrician’s office for a flu shot. While the flu vaccine won’t protect you against COVID-19, it can help keep you out of the hospital. “This year it’s critical for everyone to receive a flu vaccine,” said Stanley Martin, M.D., Geisinger’s director of infectious diseases. “By getting a flu shot, you’re helping to lessen the chances you end up hospitalized with the flu. Keeping unnecessary flu hospitalizations to a minimum allows our health care heroes to treat patients battling other illnesses and be ready for any possible spikes in COVID-19.” Flu season generally begins in late October and runs through May. Getting vaccinated early in the season is the best defense to keep yourself and those around you flu-free, Martin said. “The flu and COVID-19 viruses spread in similar ways,” Martin said. “The same measures you take to protect against COVID-19 — wearing a mask, social distancing and good hand hygiene — can also help stop the spread of the flu. The bonus here is we have a safe and effective vaccine to add to these successful measures.” Locally, Geisinger’s public drive-thru flu shot events are: Saturday, Sept. 26, at Geisinger CenterPoint (Pittston) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.Sunday, Sept. 27, at Geisinger CenterPoint (Pittston) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Southside Fire Station (Hazleton) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Geisinger primary care offices are offering the drive-thru flu shots to patients and Geisinger Health Plan members from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 12, and Saturday, Sept. 19, at: Lackawanna County: Geisinger 65 Forward Health Center — ScrantonGeisinger Mt. Pleasant (Scranton) Luzerne County: Geisinger 65 Forward Health Center — KingstonGeisinger DallasGeisinger KingstonGeisinger Mountain TopGeisinger Pittston Monroe County: Geisinger Mt. Pocono Wyoming County: Geisinger Tunkhannock There’s no need to preregister to get a flu shot. Remember to wear a mask and loose-fitting clothing that allows easy access to the upper arm. When arriving at a drive-thru vaccination site, follow all directional signage. You will need to fill out a short electronic form before receiving your flu shot. Remain inside your vehicle next to an opening window, and be aware that staff will not enter vehicles to provide flu shots. In addition to the drive-thru flu clinics, Geisinger primary care and pediatric offices offer flu shots during regular office hours, with many locations open until 7 p.m. Geisinger Pharmacy locations offer flu shots for patients, and those age 9 and older can get a flu shot at Geisinger Convenient Care locations any day of the week, with no appointment necessary. For a full list of flu shot locations, as well as helpful tips on staying flu-free this season, visit geisinger.org/flunews.