DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN (PIX11) — It’s the latest tool for battling the pandemic.           

The updated booster shots are designed to target the omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5. But some health care officials are worried people won’t step up and get that much-needed new shot in the arm.

“I don’t think there’s confusion as much as fatigue,” Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonologist at Lenox Hill Hospital, told PIX11 News. “They want this to be over with but only 30% got a third shot, so maybe less will even will go for the omicron booster.”

Dr. Horovitz is recommending that all his patients receive the latest COVID booster to fight the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron variant. It is recommended for all individuals 12 years and older who are at least two months past previous boosters or the original series of vaccines.

The Pfizer BioNTech shot is for anyone 12 and older. The Moderna version is only for those 18 and older.
And while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting a flu shot at the same time as this latest booster, Dr. Horovitz believes in spacing them apart.

“The body needs a few weeks to process a vaccine. I like to separate vaccines by two or three weeks if possible,” Dr. Horovitz said.

Also this past week, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul lifted the mandatory mask requirement for subways, something Dr. Horovitz says may be a bit premature.

“I don’t wanna criticize the policy, but I would mask in the subway,” Dr. Horovitz told PIX11 News. “You could be asymptomatic and infect someone who is immunocompromised.”

While many may think the worst of the pandemic is behind us, Dr. Horovitz says between 400 and 500 people die each day in this country because of COVID.

“I’ve been seeing a steady drip-drip of COVID cases all summer and as people go indoors to socialize and with school, I do think we’ll see you surge this fall, which is why I’m encouraging people to get the omicron variant booster,” Dr. Horovitz said.