The nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has a new warning for Americans about the BA.5 subvariant, even if they have already been infected with Omicron.
According to Fauci, those that were infected with the first wave of Omicron “really don’t have a lot of good protection” against the BA.5 subvariant.
Fauci made the comments on Tuesday during the White House coronavirus briefing.
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Fauci said, “Each successive variant has a bit of a transmission advantage over the prior one.”
He continued by explaining that the BA.5 subvariant of Omicron “substantially evades” antibodies from prior COVID infections and vaccinations.
Currently, the BA.5 variant accounts for 64% of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S. It is considered a more transmissible variant that can evade current vaccines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky echoed Fauci’s comments, saying that “People with prior infection, even with BA.1 or BA.2, are likely still at risk for BA.4 or BA.5.”
Health experts maintain that the best defense against the BA.5 subvariant is to be up-to-date with vaccinations and booster shots as they can reduce the potential for severe infections from the virus.
Even as BA.5 is the most concerning variant of COVID-19 currently, and the new BA 2.75 variant has emerged in the U.S., Fauci said, it is just one of many variants that will continue to surface.
“Variants will continue to emerge if the virus circulates globally and in this county. We should not let it disrupt our lives, but we cannot deny that it is a reality that we need to deal with,” he added.