Omicron BA.4.6.; All You Need To Know About New Covid Variant

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London: A subvariant of the omicron COVID variant, BA.4.6 is now confirmed to be spreading in the UK, recently getting tractions in the US.

BA.4.6 is a descendant of the BA.4 variant of omicron, can be recombinant in nature, and was first detected in January 2022 in South Africa.

As omicron subvariants, BA.4.6 is also considered more transmissible in nature; meaning, it also replicates more quickly in the early stages of infection.

According to the UK Health Security Agency’s (UKHSA) most recent briefing paper on COVID variations, 3.3% of samples in the UK were BA.4.6 during the week beginning August 14. Since then, it has increased to account for about 9% of sequenced instances.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that BA.4.6 is currently responsible for more than 9% of recent cases in the US.

The variation has also been seen in several other nations worldwide.

The University of Oxford has reported that people who had received three doses of Pfizer’s original COVID vaccine produce fewer antibodies in response to BA.4.6 than to BA.4 or BA.5. This is worrying because it suggests that COVID vaccines might be less effective against BA.4.6.

But vaccination is the key, it continues to offer good protection against severe disease, and is still the best weapon we have to fight COVID.

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