New COVID-19 boosters that target today's most common omicron strains are set to begin soon after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention endorsed the updated shots Thursday, the Associated Press reported. The decision by CDC Director Rochelle Walensky came shortly after the agency's advisers said if enough people roll up their sleeves, the shots could blunt a winter surge. "They can help restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination and were designed to provide broader protection," she said in a statement. The news comes as U.S. known cases of COVID are continuing to ease, although the true tally is likely higher given how many people are testing at home, where the data are not being collected. The daily average for new cases stood at 89,730 on Thursday, according to a New York Times tracker , down 7% from two weeks ago. The daily average for hospitalizations was down 9% at 37,453, while the daily average for deaths is up 8% to 513. Globally, the confirmed case tally rose above 603.7 million on Friday, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins, while the death toll is above 6.49 million with the U.S. leading the world with 94.6 million cases and 1,047,006 deaths.