NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – For the first time nationally the BA.5 COVID variant is no longer the dominant strain, now it is BQ.1.

Today Pfizer saying its updated bivalent COVID booster may not be an exact match but that it spurs a bigger jump in antibodies against some even newer omicron subtypes, including the worrisome BQ.1 than its original vaccine.

Yale Medicine Physician Albert Shaw encourages people to get the new booster.

“After getting the booster, these protective anti one antibodies are way higher than before. So I think it’s still an important reason for people to consider getting the booster, especially if it’s been a while since your last shot, especially with all the family gatherings that are coming up,” says Dr. Shaw.

The government’s program Operation Warp Speed which made quick vaccine production possible is ending.

Dr. Shaw says the future could include many things, like nasal covid vaccines. One of the places trials and research is being done is at Yale. And he says there could be more tools coming.

“In addition, several groups are working on a universal coronavirus vaccine, or you wouldn’t have to worry about the emergence of new variants. I think these are scientifically achievable and important goals,” said Dr. Shaw.

And the W.H.O. Is seeing the first uptick in covid cases since July. It’s only 2%, but Dr. Shaw sees it as somewhat of a concern as we approach the fall and winter months.

“Here in Connecticut, we’re still in kind of our plateau of cases and we hope our immunity wall from infections and vaccinations will hold but it’s certainly something to keep in mind going into fall and winter,” said Dr. Shaw.

So now it’s a wait and see whether this new variant will trigger a fall surge, like we saw last winter with the delta variant.