PEMBROKE PARK, Florida. – Health officials are tracking a fast-spreading COVID-19 omicron subvariant believed to be the most transmissible yet.
The White House COVID Response Team addressed the surge of new infections during a briefing on Tuesday. Officials said the new BA.5 subvariant is spreading rapidly and causing more infections.
They are also urgently working to find out the vaccine composition for this fall ahead of a possible spike in cases.
As COVID cases surge again across much of the country, health officials pointed the finger at BA.5 and said it was responsible for more than half of new infections.
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, speaking at the White House.
“We don’t yet know the clinical severity of BA.4 and BA.5 compared to our other Omicron subvariants, but we do know that it’s more easily transmissible and immune-avoidable,” Walensky said. “People with a previous infection, even with BA.1 and BA.2, are likely still at risk from BA.4 and BA.5.”
An average of 5,200 virus-positive Americans are hospitalized each day, the highest number of daily admissions since February. There are an average of 100,000 new cases every day in the US.
But experts warn the number could actually be seven times higher, with home testing often going unreported.
“If you’re talking about a virus that can’t be eradicated, it’s not going to be eliminated,” said Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease doctor. “It’s much more important not to focus on cases, but rather on hospitalizations and concerns about hospital capacity.”
Moderna reported that its new booster produced six times more antibodies against subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 a month after injection, but this new shot is unlikely to be available until October or November at the earliest.
dr Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to the President of the United States, said if you’ve also been infected in the past month, you should still get a booster or vaccine as immunity wanes.
“If you’ve been infected or vaccinated and it’s your time for a booster, you should get the booster,” he said. “I’ll be in line after that to get another boost.”
71 million Americans still haven’t received a single shot; 44 million of them are children. More than half of the eligible population has not received their first booster shot.
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https://www.local10.com/news/national/2022/07/12/white-house-addresses-latest-covid-wave-fueled-by-fast-spreading-subvariant/ The White House is addressing the latest wave of COVID fueled by a fast-spreading subvariant