DEAR SUN SPOTS: In your wealth of knowledge, do you know if there are clinics for COVID booster shots this fall? I was wondering if the Auburn Mall was having one again because it was very convenient. Should it be just pharmacies offering the boosters, do you need an appointment? — No name, no town

ANSWER: The updated booster targets Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, and the original strain of the COVID-19 virus, in a single shot.

The bivalent vaccines have been authorized for use as a single booster dose at least two months after the primary or booster vaccination. Also, the CDC has said that COVID-19 vaccinations may be co-administered with the flu vaccination.

The COVID-19 booster is authorized for use as a single booster dose for everyone age 12 or older. A patient can choose to receive either the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech booster, regardless of which company’s primary dose series or booster vaccine they received previous.

As of Aug. 31, information about the public health vaccination site at the Auburn Mall noted the Pfizer and the Moderna updated boosters will be available once their approval process is completed.

If you don’t want to wait, this latest in the round of COVID-19 vaccines is available at Walgreens stores at 61 Union St. and 698 Minot Ave., and at Walmart at 100 Mt. Auburn Ave. in Auburn.

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In Lewiston, the boosters are available at Walgreens at 315 Main St. and at 430 Sabattus St., and at CVS at 10 East Ave. and 446 Sabattus St. in Lewiston.  It’s also available at St. Mary’s Family Medicine (777-4440) at 15 Mollison Way in Lewiston.

Other locations are Walgreens at 575 Lisbon St. in Lisbon Falls and at 55 Paris St. in Norway.

You’ll need to book an appointment online through these pharmacies’ websites. Do not call the individual pharmacies to schedule. The Walgreens site is https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/schedule-vaccine?ban=imm_alert. Or you can call 1-800-WALGREENS.

For Walmart, it’s https://www.walmart.com/cp/flu-shots-immunizations

CVS: https://www.cvs.com/immunizations/covid-19-vaccine

You can also schedule your booster at any of the above locations through https://www.solvhealth.com/me/c/auburn-me-srv-covid-vaccine.

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Please note that appointment availability is dependent on vaccine supply and staffing. Some locations, such as Walmart, are also offering walk-in vaccinations with no appointment necessary, but it’s best to call to confirm in advance as situations can change with little notice.

You can check out https://www.maine.gov/covid19/vaccines/vaccination-sites to view a comprehensive list of pharmacies throughout the state. Just note that just because a site is listed, it doesn’t mean it has all types of vaccines available.

Please check in with your health care provider if you have questions. They may be able to direct you to a convenient place for you to get boosted.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: My grandchildren are coming to visit between Thanksgiving and Christmas so I’m on the lookout for a location where they can get their photos taken with Santa.

Since I’m a fairly new grandmother, I haven’t kept up with this type of thing. Do any parents or other grandparents have a recommendation? I thought if I asked early enough, I’d have good results. — No name, no town

ANSWER: You are on the ball! Sun Spotters, where do you go for these photos? Is Santa coming to the Auburn Mall this year? Are any organizations hosting Santa? Do tell!

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name. We won’t use it if you ask us not to. Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected].


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