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The ‘worst version’ of Covid-19 is here, experts claim

Sunday, July 3, 2022 • Tamil Comments
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A couple of immune-evading sub-variants of Omicron are currently dominant in the United States, and are responsible for over half of the Covid-19 cases recorded in the country last week. Experts have claimed that one of the variants, BA.5, which originated in New York, is the strongest strain of Covid yet.

Despite millions of people across the world having benefited from both doses of vaccines as well as the booster shoots, with viruses evolving, vaccines are expected to be updated too. Scientist and editor Eric Topol was quoted as saying, “The Omicron sub-variant BA.5 is the worst version of the virus that we’ve seen.”

“It takes immune escape, already extensive, to the next level, and, as a function of that, enhanced transmissibility, well beyond Omicron (BA.1) and other Omicron family variants that we’ve seen (including BA.1.1, BA.2, BA.2.12.1, and BA.4),” he added.

“You could say it’s not so bad because there hasn’t been a marked rise in hospitalizations and deaths as we saw with Omicron, but that’s only because we had such a striking adverse impact from Omicron, for which there is at least some cross-immunity (BA.1 to BA.5),” the scientist-author further mentioned. Experts have discussed the possibility of combination shots that add protection against both the variants.

The combination approach would apparently allow “the boosters to retain the proven benefits of the original vaccine while adding to its breadth of protection.” Meanwhile, Pfizer spokeswoman Jerica Pitts reportedly said, “We’re continuing to collect more data from our study on BA.4/5 and will be in touch as soon as we are ready to submit.”

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