Nurse applying vaccine on patient's arm Credit: NIH.gov

The BA.5 Sub Variant is the Fastest Growing Strain of the COVID Virus

Even vaccinated people and those previously infected seem to have lesser resistance to this variant.

Dr. Ashish Jha, the Biden Administration COVID response coordinator, issued a warning about the Omicron BA.5 subvariant in the United States, which seems to be perhaps the most easily spread variant to date. Jha urged Americans over age 50 to get vaccination boosters simply stating, “It could save your life.”

“If you’ve not gotten a shot in 2022, first of all, getting one now protects you for the rest of the summer, into the fall,” Jha continued, “Second, it does not preclude you from being able to get a bivalent vaccine in the fall.”

The Associated Press video below sums up officials’ comments about the new variant.

BA.5 is estimated to account for 65 percent of the coronavirus variants infecting Americans in recent weeks. This incarnation of the virus also seems to be more resistant than previous variants to immunity- including that from prior COVID-19 infection.

The BA.5 and BA.4 sub variants together accounted for more than 80 percent of circulating variants last week.

The administration said the new variant’s wide circulation means COVID infections are likely to spike again, even among those who were previously vaccinated or who contracted the virus in the past.

“Immunity wanes, whether that’s immunity following infection or immunity following vaccine, even though the immediate protection following infection or vaccine is generally good protection,” explained Biden’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci. The NIH head, who is an infectious disease specialist, warned, “If you were infected with BA.1, you really don’t have a lot of good protection against BA. 4/5.”

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