The U.S. government has sent more than 25 million updated COVID-19 booster vaccines, mostly from Pfizer/BioNTech, as production of the Moderna vaccine continues to ramp up, a federal health agency said Tuesday.
Some U.S. pharmacies, including CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance, also reported on Tuesday that government supply of Moderna’s updated vaccine remains limited, causing appointments for the product to vary across the country.
CVS and Walgreens said they were working with the government to acquire more doses of Moderna and had not seen any supply issues for the Pfizer recall.
In August, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized updated booster shots from Pfizer and Moderna that target the dominant BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants, as the country prepares for a broad revaccination campaign in the fall.
According to the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), retail pharmacies will receive millions more doses of Moderna this week and production is ramping up.
“We expect supply to continue to increase in the coming weeks,” an ASPR spokesman told Reuters.
Moderna said it is working closely with the US government to provide significant quantities of updated bivalent booster doses and expects these availability constraints to be resolved in the coming days. He said he plans to ship 70 million doses by the end of the year, as promised in his contract.
The United States has ordered more than 170 million updated vaccine boosters for this fall, when everyone ages 12 and older who has already received initial doses of the vaccine is encouraged to receive a booster.