WORCESTER, Mass. - Doses of the new Bivalent COVID-19 booster shots are available across central Massachusetts.

The new boosters are specifically formulated to protect against omicron variants. Pfizer's vaccine is authorized for people 12 and older, while Moderna's updated booster has been authorized for people 18 and older.

UMass Memorial Health's Dr. Robert Klugman said people who are eligible shouldn't hesitate to get the new booster, especially as flu season starts.

"We are seeing hundreds and hundreds of people who are in that boat getting this BA.5 (variant)," said Klugman. “This BA.5 doesn't care if you've had a prior COVID or a prior booster. It's a new variant and it's effecting people anyways. And plenty of people are getting quite ill as a result.

"Just because you've had the virus or you've been previously vaccinated, you're still not as protected as you'll be if you get the booster."

In Worcester, health leaders said updated Bivalent COVID-19 boosters are immediately available at city-run clinics.