Publix pharmacies in Polk and three other Florida counties began providing Pfizer vaccine booster shots today to eligible people: those 65 or older or immunocompromised people who received two doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at least six months ago.

Vaccines will be available in stores throughout Florida on Saturday, the supermarket chain announced. The other counties where boosters became available today were Orange, Brevard and Duval.

The pharmacies are accepting walk-in patients during the weekend and will be accepting reservations via the company’s online system for appointment times starting Monday, the Publix announcement said.

The boosters are available only to people who received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine in keeping with CDC guidelines. Boosters have not been authorized yet for seniors who received vaccines made by Moderna or Johnson & Johnson.

However, immunocompromised people may receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine as soon as 28 days after completing their first two doses, according t the Publix announcement.

CVS, Walmart and Sam’s Club stores also began offering Pfizer boosters today, The Miami Herald reported.

Besides seniors, those eligible include people age 18 and older who live in long-term care facilities or who have an underlying health condition that makes them at risk for severe COVID illness. These include cancer, diabetes type 1 and 2, pregnancy, obesity and chronic kidney disease.

“Appointments are encouraged for the most efficient vaccination experience and to ensure the preferred vaccine is available. Appointments cannot be made by calling Publix or the Publix Pharmacy,” the announcement read.

The booster shots are free. Patients are asked to bring their health insurance or Medicare card. Those who are uninsured are asked to provide a driver license of Social Security number.

People receiving the booster should bring their CDC vaccination card, according to the Herald report.

Walmart, Winn-Dixie and Sam’s Clubs are offering boosters by appointment and walk-in, The Herald reported. Here are links to make appointments online: Walmart | Sam’s Club | Winn-Dixie.

Walgreen appointments are available online or by calling 800-WALGREENS or your local store.

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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