According to the genetic sequence sharing website GISAID, BA.4 and BA.5 are two closely related viruses that were first described in South Africa and arrived in the United States in late March; They are gaining ground in variant BA.2, especially in the central region of the northern country.
The latest updates from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and genomics company Helix estimated that the BA.4 and BA.5 variants together accounted for between six and seven percent of new infections at the end of May.
Given this situation, Dr. David Hu, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Columbia University in New York, said that’s a serious threat because just a month ago, it was only 0.02 percent.
The BA.4 variant has been detected in at least 30 countries, and BA.5 has been sampled in 32, according to the Scripps Research Institute’s Outbreak.info website.
Specialists from this center found in a new study that BA.4 and BA.5 viruses are four times more likely to evade antibodies in vaccinated people who received boosters compared to the BA.2 variant.
They explained that this means they are more likely to develop a post-vaccination infection, even in people who have previously had Covid-19.
For this reason, it will be necessary to update vaccines and boosters in the coming weeks or months. The goal is to prepare for more infections but not necessarily severe illness or death.”
Their research is still published as a preprint, meaning it has not been peer-reviewed or published in a high-impact medical journal.
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