Needles used for coronavirus vaccinations sit on a table at the Maine Access Immigrant Network in Portland on May 6, 2022. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

An updated COVID booster vaccine that includes protection against the BA.5 strain is expected to roll out this September.

Nirav Shah, the director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said ages 12 and up will likely be eligible for the boosters, and possibly younger ages. But he urged people who are currently eligible for second boosters to get them now and not wait for the 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 said.

Shah said BA.5 is here now and is more likely to cause reinfection, which is why it’s important to get available boosters.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.