The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention is hosting a series of free vaccine clinics to assist parents who need to catch their children up on vaccines.

The COVID-19 pandemic led many Maine families to forgo well-child visits or other in-person consultations with their pediatricians, and as a result, some children have fallen behind on required and recommended immunizations, the agency said in a news release Friday.

Starting on Monday, clinics will be offered at Public Health Nursing offices in Augusta, Bangor, Caribou, Lewiston and Portland. To make an appointment, call 287-6730 or 287-4112. More clinics to open in the coming weeks are planned for Calais, Machias, Rockland and Skowhegan. Parents are encouraged to contact their pediatrician before scheduling an appointment.

The public health nurses will give the shots, provide parents with an updated immunization record and notify pediatricians of the vaccines given.

“COVID-19 has disrupted our lives in man ways, including presenting new challenges in getting to wellness and preventive care visits,” said Dr. Nirav Shah, Maine CDC director, in a statement.

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