Three new genovariants of Omicron, which WHO has already drawn attention to due to increased contagiousness, may cause a new rise in the incidence of COVID-19, experts interviewed by Izvestia believe. We are talking about the lines of coronavirus BA.4, BA.5 (new South African Omicrons) and BA.2.12.1 (New York version),
“There is information that variant BA.2.12.1 is spreading extremely quickly throughout the United States and is generally considered the most rapidly spreading variant of the virus. In the states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, this option is already considered dominant, and it is unlikely that it will be limited only to this territory, ” Stanislav Ostavnov, head of the laboratory for analyzing population health indicators and digitalization of health care at MIPT, told Izvestia.
Whether the New York version spreads to other countries, time will tell, he added.
As for the South African lines BA.4 and BA.5, increased attention to these lines is associated with the alleged possibility of avoiding the immune response of those who have been ill, Izvestia was told at the Central Research Institute of Epidemiology of Rospotrebnadzor. Research confirms this as well. As stated in the preprint of scientists from the Changping Laboratory of China, the American BA.2.12.1 and the African BA.4 and BA.5 evade antibodies much more effectively than all other options.
“Compared to BA.2, these lines show a stronger escape from plasma of those vaccinated with three doses and, surprisingly, vaccinated and recovering from BA.1,” the abstract for the study states.
The scientists concluded that the new variants could become a problem for herd immunity, as they call into question the effectiveness of booster vaccination. This means that a new wave of the pandemic can begin with these strains.
Read more in the exclusive Izvestia article:
“There are no options: the world faces a new wave of COVID due to new strains of Omicron”