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ABC 7: Pediatric Cases Rise as Biden Administration Prepares for Rollout of New COVID Vaccine Boosters

ABC 7 recently interviewed Michael A. Ben-Aderet, MD, associate director of Hospital Epidemiology at Cedars-Sinai, about the new COVID-19 boosters targeting the Omicron variant and their potential impact on another surge this fall and winter. 

Federal public health authorities recently approved the new booster shots from Pfizer and Moderna as fears mount that another COVID-19 outbreak could occur during the colder months when people gather indoors.

"This Omicron-specific booster will actually fill in some of the gaps of the previous vaccine, so it really will protect us going forward from other Omicron strains potentially," Ben-Aderet told ABC 7.  

Both updated boosters target the original Wuhan strain of the virus that causes COVID-19 and the now dominant Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5. Experts hope the new boosters also will be effective at fighting future versions of the virus that could emerge in coming months.

Ben-Aderet told ABC 7 that the new shots were tested in animals in clinical trials but not in humans. It's part of a strategy to keep the well-studied vaccines current as variants evolve. "The technology is well established, and this has probably been the largest rollout in human history," Ben-Aderet told ABC 7.  

The new boosters are now available for people ages 12 and older and recommended for students as school resumes. Nearly 87,000 new cases of COVID-19 had been reported earlier this month among kids in the U.S. If individuals are unsure whether the new booster is right for them, they should consult their doctor, Ben-Aderet said.  

In addition to getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and testing all remain essential for preventing the spread of COVID-19. "I think the most important thing to remember is that there is still a huge amount of COVID circulating in the community," Ben-Aderet told ABC 7.  

Click here to read the complete article from ABC 7.