AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – The CDC and FDA approved new Pfizer and Moderna booster shots will target the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants.

“It’s easier for these new sub variants BA. 4 and BA. 5 to escape our immune surveillance,” Medical College of Georgia infectious disease expert Dr. Rodger MacArthur said.

The booster shots target the highly contagious BA.5 sub variant which the CDC said has been responsible for the majority of new COVID cases.

“The newer vaccines have some component that will look a whole lot more like the sub variants and they’ll have protection against the sub variants so that we can get that efficacy up into the 70 and 80 percent range,” MacArthur said.

The Pfizer shot is for those 12 and up and Moderna is for people age 18 and older.

Health officials hope the new vaccines will help prevent another surge of cases this fall.

“I think the biggest benefit will be to make it less likely that someone is going to end up in the hospital,” MacArthur said.

People could start getting the vaccine as early as this week.

“It’s just a matter of manufacturing enough of them to be able to vaccinate those who want it,” MacArthur said.

The CDC suggests that people wait at least two months since their most recent Covid shots to get the latest shots.