© 2022 Maine Public
header.jpg
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Dr. Shah: Booster shots for the BA5 COVID variant will likely be available soon

In this March photo, pharmacy technician Hollie Maloney loads a syringe with Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at the Portland Expo in Portland, Maine. The U.S. gave full approval to Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.
Robert F. Bukaty
/
AP
In this March photo, pharmacy technician Hollie Maloney loads a syringe with Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at the Portland Expo in Portland, Maine. The U.S. gave full approval to Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.

An updated COVID booster vaccine that includes protection against the BA5 strain is expected to roll out this September.

Maine CDC Director Nirav Shah says ages 12 and up will likely be eligible for the boosters, and possibly younger ages. But he urges people who are currently eligible for second boosters to get them now and not wait for the for updated version.

"It's critical to note that federal officials have said that if you're 50 and over and you get your second booster now, you will not be precluded from getting another booster with the new formulation in the fall," Shah says.

Shah says BA5 is here now and is more likely to cause reinfection, which is why it's important to get available boosters.