News & Politics

Some DC-Area Pharmacies and Clinics Are Running Out of Moderna’s Covid Booster Shots

More booster shots are on the way.

Photo via iStock.

Some DC-area pharmacies and clinics have run out of Moderna’s updated Covid booster shot, prompting appointment cancellations until new shipments arrive. The new boosters first became available in the DC area on September 7.

The Giant Pharmacy in Shaw ran out of Moderna booster shots on September 13, and a pharmacist says they are expecting a restock next week. Until then, the pharmacy is still offering the latest Pfizer booster. Meanwhile, a pharmacist at the CVS on Eisenhower Avenue in Alexandria also told Washingtonian they ran out of Moderna booster shots—the only variety the location carries—on September 13. More boosters are expected to arrive on September 17, at which point patients can resume booking appointments.

Unity Health Care’s East Of The River Health Center near Benning Road reported that the clinic is currently pausing the “bivalent” boosters as they wait for more shots. A similar situation is occurring at the Whitman-Walker Health clinic on 14th Street: An employee shared that boosters are “on hold” as they prepare for a shipment of Moderna, the only shot they offer.

However, there are still places to find both the Pfizer and Moderna booster shots in DC. (The FDA authorized the mixing and matching of available vaccine boosters.) The city’s Covid community centers have both booster shots—along with flu shots—available for walk-ups in all eight wards. According to Thomas Farley, senior deputy director for the DC Health Department’s Community Health Administration, the city has shuffled doses around its community Covid sites as needed to avoid running out.

“Our data that we have suggests there’s adequate supplies of the available boosters in the District,” says Farley, “But there may be some shortages at some locations, if their initial orders underestimated demand.”

In fact, Farley notes an additional 4,000 doses of the Moderna shot arrived in DC yesterday. Another 6,000 doses of Pfizer are anticipated to arrive today. 

“We don’t expect that the shortages will continue,” says Farley.

If you’re looking for a booster, Farley suggests visiting the CDC’s vaccine portal to check which pharmacies are currently in stock. He also recommends calling pharmacies in advance to ensure there is availability ahead of a visit. The Moderna booster is currently authorized for those 18 and older, while those 12 and up can get the Pfizer booster.

The headline of this story was updated to reflect some pharmacies and clinics are running out of the Moderna Covid booster shot. 

David Andrews
Editorial Fellow