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because they got burnt by not only pooh-poohing Delta, but dismissing Omicron when that variant first hit South Africa, and then started spreading like wildfire. And for the first time during the pandemic, a variant -Omicron- was having a bigger impact on children than previous variants, and it was causing more "break-through" infections, something that many health officials insisted was "improbable", until it was confirmed rather stongly.
This variant is an offshoot from Omicron and based on some of the slides shown during CDC's ACIP approval meeting last week, they looked at the response of the newest vaccines to it and they seemed to work even better on that than the circulating XBB.x series.