PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Even though COVID-19 cases have dropped dramatically in recent months, the omicron variant is still circulating. People are still being hospitalized from the coronavirus and dying.

As the weather turns cooler and colder, there is concern it will once again spike when people are more indoors and not wearing masks.

The booster that targets the omicron variant is now readily available in Oregon. You’re eligible to get it if it’s been at least 2 months since your last dose or 3 months since you got COVID-19.

Pharmacies and doctor’s offices have the new booster. There are also many walk-in/no appointment needed clinics offering the booster. They’re generally listed on your county’s public health website.

Dr. Paul Burton, the chief medical officer for Moderna, told KOIN 6 News people should get the omicron booster as soon as they can. That would help with protection from Halloween through New Year’s Day.

FILE – A pharmacist injects a patient with a booster dosage of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic in Lawrence, Mass., on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

The Oregon Health Authority reported there were 811 new cases of COVID in the week ending September 21, 2022. Overall there have been 890,507 confirmed cases of COVID in the state since the pandemic began, and cumulatively 8520 deaths, including 28 last week. The same report showed 237 people are hospitalized in Oregon by COVID.

OHA — Ongoing vaccination sites

Pfizer seeks to expand omicron booster to 5- to 11-year-olds

(AP) — Pfizer asked U.S. regulators Monday to expand use of its updated COVID-19 booster shot to children ages 5 to 11.

Elementary school-aged children already received kid-sized doses of Pfizer’s original vaccine, a third of the dose given to everyone 12 and older — two primary shots plus a booster.

If the Food and Drug Administration agrees, they would start getting a kid-sized dose of the new omicron-targeted formula when it is time for their booster.

FDA vaccine chief Dr. Peter Marks said last week he expected a decision on boosters for that age group soon.

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech also announced a new study of the omicron-focused booster in even younger children, those ages 6 months through 4 years, to test different doses.

Updated boosters made by both Pfizer and rival Moderna rolled out earlier this month for everyone 12 and older. They’re a tweak to vaccines that already have saved millions of lives — a combination or “bivalent” shot that contains half the original recipe and half protection against the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron relatives responsible for most of today’s COVID-19 cases.

The hope is that the modified boosters will help tamp down continuing COVID-19 cases and blunt another winter surge. As of last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 4.4 million Americans had gotten an updated booster so far.