SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – On September 1, the FDA and CDC authorized updated versions of Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID booster shots that target the highly contagious BA.5 omicron subvariant.

Medical experts are urging people to get a booster shot, saying that these vaccines are the best way to prevent COVID cases from surging. The Biden administration’s fall booster campaign already has updated booster shots entering arms, with Pfizer’s booster available for people 12-years-old and older, and Moderna’s available for those 18 and older.

“This bivalent vaccine, or updated booster shot, it might really prevent you from being infected by SARS-COVID-2 and in that regard will also prevent it from spreading during this upcoming cold season,” said Dr. Armando Paez, Chief of the Division of Infectious Disease at Baystate Medical Center.

These bivalent shots, which provide protection against the original coronavirus strain and new strains were the first COVID shots distributed without results from human trials. Dr. Paez believes this is not a cause for concern, saying “The vaccine platform has not changed, we have known the safety of this from the use of COVID-19 vaccines these past two years.”

“With all the holiday gatherings coming up, that’s why they’re really kind of pushing it and trying to make sure everyone does get their flu shots and get updated on all the current updated COVID shots,” said Adam Pietrzykwoski, Manager of Record at Stop & Shop Pharmacy on Liberty Street in Springfield.

The Pfizer booster is available at the Liberty Street Stop & Shop, but different sites have different vaccines. It’s encouraged to check in with a site before heading over.