Coronavirus strain lines BA.4, BA.5 (new South African “Omicrons”) are more contagious than previous genovariants and may partially evade immune protection. This was announced on May 11 by the head of the scientific group for the development of new diagnostic methods based on sequencing technologies of the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor Kamil Khafizov.
“Several recently published studies have shown that variants of the virus, known as BA.4 and BA.5, are slightly more transmissible than early forms of Omicron and may elude some of the immune protection provided by previous coronavirus infection or vaccination,” – TASS quotes him as saying.
Khafizov noted the similarity of BA.4, BA.5 with “stealth-Omicron”, they have two main mutations that help new variants evade antibodies.
In South Africa, at the moment, the largest number of cases of coronavirus infection falls on these two Omicron lines – up to 75%.
However, another variant of Omicron, BA.2.12.1, is expanding rapidly in North America and is “expected to become dominant in the US.” In addition, this line also has a mutation capable of bypassing antibodies that block the virus.
On May 6, Izvestia published the results of a survey of experts on whether a new rise in the incidence of COVID-19 is expected against the background of the rapid spread of BA.4, BA.5 and BA.2.12.1. Thus, Stanislav Ostavnov, head of the Laboratory for the Analysis of Population Health Indicators and Digitalization of Healthcare at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, expressed the opinion that BA.2.12.1, which is spreading extremely quickly throughout the United States, is unlikely to be limited only to this territory.
The scientists concluded that the new variants could become a problem for herd immunity, as they call into question the effectiveness of booster vaccination. These strains could start a new wave of the pandemic, they concluded.
On the eve of WHO reported that the number of countries in the world in which new subspecies of the omicron strain of coronavirus are being detected is increasing. At the same time, WHO does not have information that allows us to assert that infection with these subspecies leads to a more severe course of the disease.
A large-scale vaccination campaign continues in Russia. Citizens are vaccinated for free. Seven drugs against coronavirus have been registered in the country: Sputnik V, which became the first vaccine against COVID-19 in the Russian Federation and the world, as well as Sputnik Light, Sputnik M, EpiVacCorona, EpiVacCorona-N, KoviVac , “Konvasel”.
All up-to-date information on the situation with coronavirus is available on the sites stopcoronavirus.rf and access to everyone.rf, as well as on the hashtag #WeTogether. Coronavirus hotline: 8 (800) 2000-112.