FDA releases more doses of Moderna's updated Covid-19 boosters amid reports of 'limited' supply

FDA releases more doses of Moderna’s updated Covid-19 boosters amid reports of ‘limited’ supply

Updated boosters from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna were made available earlier this month, shortly after the FDA cleared them. However, some pharmacy chains have reported difficulty keeping Moderna’s vaccines in stock.

“Government supply of the updated Moderna COVID-19 booster is currently limited, so appointments for the product vary across the country,” Walgreens said Tuesday. “The updated Pfizer COVID-19 reminder remains available.”

Rite Aid said on Tuesday: “We have received a limited supply of the Moderna COVID-19 booster and expect to receive additional supply in the coming weeks. We are actively working to increase inventory of COVID boosters and have sufficient supply of updated Pfizer boosters in all stores.”

FDA spokesman Michael Felberbaum said Tuesday that when the agency cleared the updated boosters, it was in the midst of an inspection of a facility where Moderna’s booster is manufactured, and therefore “The FDA did not include this facility as an authorized manufacturing facility for the updated COVID-19 vaccine recall at this time.” Only Moderna lots from another facility have been made available at this point.

But on Tuesday, the agency said it determined that “many batches” of the Moderna booster manufactured at the first plant met the criteria for distribution “after careful review of information provided by Moderna on the manufacture of those batches.” The agency has no concerns regarding the safety, efficacy or quality of these lots,” Felberbaum said.

Moderna said it is still on track to deliver 70 million doses of its updated vaccine by the end of 2022.

“We are working closely with the U.S. government to provide significant quantities of updated bivalent booster doses as we continue to see strong demand in certain areas of the country,” the company said. “We expect these availability constraints to be resolved in the coming days.”

The use of Covid-19 vaccine boosters had been low long before the updated boosters became available. To date, less than half of people in the United States who have received their initial round and are eligible for a booster – and less than a third of the general population – have received their booster.

The federal government hasn’t released data on how many people have received the new vaccines, but allowing the updated reminders may have prompted more people to roll up their sleeves. Federal health officials have urged people to get an updated Covid-19 reminder when they get their flu shot this fall, and the government recently launched an ad campaign targeting people 50 and older. .

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