PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland area hospitals are under heavy duress as more and more patients file in while beds and staff remain in short supply.

Now more than ever, the call is out for everyone to get a flu shot as well as the latest COVID booster.

Local pediatric offices tell KOIN 6 News they expect to have the newest COVID booster, which was approved by the FDA for children as young as six months, starting the week of Dec. 12. Both Moderna and Pfizer have given the green light to the bivalent booster, which is geared specifically toward the omicron variant.

Pfizer’s latest booster can be given as the third dose to children six months through four years of age who have not received their third shot yet. Moderna’s latest booster is for children aged six months through five years two months after their second shot.

This comes at a time when COVID cases are back on the upswing, and hospitals are feeling the strain of it.

“We’ve had little kids, but we’ve also had teenagers,” Metropolitan Pediatrics CMO Dr. Resa Bradeen said. “A lot of times they will have serious underlying medical issues, but not always.”

“Boost the system for the next couple of weeks,” said Ken Stedman, a virus researcher at Portland State University. “Of course the next couple weeks is the holiday season. So if you’re going to be interacting with people who are at a higher risk, it’s definitely worth doing that.”

Masks remain optional at this time. However, there is a growing ask from local health leaders in Oregon and Washington to wear them when inside indoor public places like stores and large gatherings, as the flu is also currently spreading and adding to hospitalizations.