The US Food and Drug Administration has authorized the release of more batches of the updated Moderna COVID-19 booster shot this week as some pharmacies say they are having problems getting the vaccines, according to Reuters.
Both CVS and Walgreens said they are working with the government to get more of the Moderna shots. The pharmacies say they have not seen any supply issues for the Pfizer/BioNTech booster.
“The government supply of the updated Moderna COVID-19 booster is currently limited, causing appointments for the product to vary across the country,” Walgreens said in a statement on Tuesday. “The updated Pfizer COVID-19 booster remains available.”
The Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech updated COVID-19 boosters were authorized for use in the United States by the FDA earlier this month.
According to FDA spokesman Michael Felberbaum, the agency did not authorize as many Moderna updated boosters because it had not completed an inspection of one of Moderna’s facilities.
The “FDA did not include this facility as an authorized manufacturing facility for the updated COVID-19 vaccine booster at that time,” Felberbaum said.
An Indiana plant operated by Catalent, a firm that has been bottling Moderna’s vaccine in the U.S., was determined to have fallen short in its quality control procedures, according to the agency.
Following an inspection, the FDA said Catalent needed to “thoroughly investigate” batches discovered to be contaminated in the Indiana facility.
Moderna submitted data to the agency asking to clear 10 batches of its vaccine from Catalent’s plant. The FDA approved the request.
According to Reuters, the Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), retail pharmacies will be receiving millions more doses of Moderna this week.
Moderna said it’s still on track to deliver 70 million doses of its updated vaccine to pharmacies and health care facilities by the end of 2022.
“We are working closely with U.S. Government to deliver significant amounts of updated, bivalent booster doses as we continue to see high demand in certain areas of the country,” the company told CNN. “We anticipate that these availability constraints will be resolved in the coming days.”
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