U.S. regulators are releasing new batches of Moderna’s reformulated COVID-19 booster after some pharmacies reported limited supply.
Federal, state and local officials are pushing Americans to get a fall booster that targets the BA.4 and BA.5 variants of the coronavirus alongside the original strain discovered in China. They want to stave off a winter surge of hospitalizations and deaths.
But pharmacies said they had trouble keeping the Moderna version of the booster in stock after an initial round of shots from the Massachusetts company and its rival, Pfizer-BioNTech, became available earlier this month.
Rite-Aid and Walgreens said appointments for the Moderna version were not steadily available across the country but they had enough of the Pfizer version, according to CNN.
A Food and Drug Administration spokesman told the outlet that a facility that makes the Moderna shot was under inspection when the authorization came down, meaning only shots from a separate facility were available at first.
The agency on Tuesday concluded that “numerous batches” of the shots from the facility under inspection could be made available “following a careful review of information provided by Moderna about the manufacture of these batches.”
“The agency has no concerns with the safety, effectiveness, or quality of these batches,” the FDA said.
Moderna said it is on track to deliver 70 million doses of its bivalent vaccine as promised by the end of the year.
President Biden and other leaders are promoting the shots, but a large share of Americans have been slow to stay up to date with recommended COVID-19 boosters.
Only about half of fully vaccinated Americans — roughly a third of the U.S. population — opted to receive an initial booster after those shots became widely available in late 2021.