Following FDA authorization, Asheville, North Carolina-based Ingles Markets Inc. is offering booster doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to eligible patients. Booster doses act to prolong immunity to the SARS-Cov-2 virus after the primary vaccination series has been completed.
On Sept. 24, the CDC recommended that patients from the following groups receive a booster dose of vaccine 6 months after completing the 2-dose series of Pfizer vaccine:
- Patients 65 years or older or those in long-term care facilities;
- Patients 18-64 years old with underlying medical conditions; and
- Patients 18-64 years old in occupational or institutional settings with high risk of COVID-19 infection.
The ACIP evaluated data demonstrating that immunity from the virus can begin to weaken as time progresses after vaccine administration. In order to prolong immunity and boost patients’ protection, boosters are recommended for certain populations at the highest risk of COVID-19.
“Receiving authorization for booster doses of Pfizer allows our pharmacists to offer even more protection to some of the most vulnerable patients we serve,” said Ron Freeman, CFO for Ingles Markets. “We’re proud that we can continue to aid our communities by prolonging protection from the virus by offering booster doses.”
At this time, only Pfizer doses are available as boosters. Only patients who have completed the primary vaccination series with the Pfizer vaccine are currently eligible for boosters.
Ingles Pharmacy continues to offer first and second doses of vaccine to patients 12 years of age and older. All pharmacy locations also offer third doses of Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines 28 days after second doses are administered for patients who are moderately to severely immunocompromised.
All COVID-19 vaccines are currently available by appointment and can be scheduled utilizing the pharmacy’s online scheduler at https://appointments.ingles-markets.com. The scheduler also allows patients to complete vaccine consent forms electronically, reducing check-in time at the pharmacy.