Moderna's COVID booster faces supply limitations after manufacturing issues

Health reporter Anjalee Khemlani examines the shortages Moderna is experiencing in its latest COVID-19 booster shot, while also discussing vaccination options ahead of this year's flu season

Video Transcript

RACHELLE AKUFFO: Well, if you're looking for the Moderna COVID booster in your local pharmacy, you may be offered Pfizer's instead. Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani joins us with the details on the latest supply issues. Hi, Anj.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Hey, Rachelle. So what we know is that Moderna hit a little bit of a snag with its manufacturing partner, Catalent. They had an issue on site in the same facility, but not with the batch of Moderna vaccines. And that's delayed the release of those doses into the market, according to the FDA.

The company did tell us in a statement that they are working with the US government. And they expect that they will be able to deliver those 5 billion doses as they continue to see high demand. Also noting that they will meet their 70 million dose promise to the US government.

So nothing seems to be too off point. This is not the crisis of shortage that we would have seen a year ago. This is simply a matter of one company being unable to meet the timeliness of the demand right now. But we do know that, of course, we have Pfizer on the market as well. So it is once again not the same issue as before. The issue should be resolved shortly.

And the CDC has recommended either of the doses as a booster. You can mix and match. There have been studies to prove, in fact, that mixing and matching actually does have a little bit of a benefit there. So a little bit of a setback for anyone who's looking specifically for the Moderna one, but not for very long.

DAVE BRIGGS: Anj, we can feel it. The fall is here, which means the flu is right around the corner and questions of whether we should get a flu shot and a COVID booster at the same time. What are medical experts saying about that?

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: They're saying, and not in these terms, but more technically, it depends on how much of an ouchie you want. It depends on whether or not you're willing to sit through the two doses in one arm or one dose in either arm.

But the result is, get both. That is the recommendation. You should be able to get both at the same appointment. You can separate them if you want, but it is advisable to get those doses, especially the flu, before the end of next month, before the end of October, which is when flu season really starts to take off.

And it's really important to point out that there was a concerning flu season in the Southern hemisphere. They just finished their winter and are getting into summer. And so that has indicated to the US that there might be some issues there to keep an eye on and maybe a harder flu season than we saw in the last year.

The pandemic and all the mitigation measures like masking and isolating really helped to keep flu at bay. But now that we're returning to somewhat of a normal, we might be seeing a harder flu season this year. So the answers in short, definitely get both. Try to get them at the same time. And if it's too much for your arms, separate them.

DAVE BRIGGS: So go for the double ouchie is what Anj is saying. Thank you so much.