New Sub-Variants of Omicron: The Same Old Story

New Sub-Variants of Omicron: The Same Old Story
Fecha de publicación: 
9 May 2022
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The World Health Organization (WHO) reported about ten days ago on two new sub-variants of the omicron variant: BA.4 and BA.5.

In this regard, it recommended that these "additional mutations should be studied further to understand their impact on the potential for immune escape", that is, its response to vaccines and, in general, the body's immunity.

These two sub-variants already circulate, albeit at low levels, in different countries, including Germany, Denmark, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Botswana.

The expert who detected both sub-variants, Tulio Olivera, head of the Center for Epidemic Response and Innovation in South Africa, who informed to WHO of such developments, also specified general/alert-covid-by-immune-escape-of-the-new-variants-of-omicron-ba-4-and-ba-5-the-vaccine-is-still-effective/ that they do not coincide with " a significant increase in cases, admissions (in intensive care) or deaths.

However, the same BA.4 and BA.5 have mutations in the spike protein – the one that allows the virus to “hook” into cells and infect them – that could generate changes in how this virus affects the human body.

It was with regard to these mutations that WHO commented on their link with possible features of immune escape.

This world organization has also specified that most of the BA.4 and BA.5 sequences present a known genetic flaw, which would also allow them to more easily elude detection by the immune system and by PCR test. Consequently, it makes it difficult for the human body to identify and fight against that attacker.

The WHO "keeps working with scientists to further assess the characteristics of these lineages and their implications for public health."

This was also made known by MINSAP .

Considering the global and national panorama regarding Covid-19, an evaluation of the population's immunity status is underway in Cuba, after five months of applying the booster dose and the preliminary results show that in the majority a high level of antibody. Only people over 60 years of age and with chronic pathologies show a tendency to have lower levels.

Administration of a booster dose with Soberana Plus to the population between ages 12-18 who are already reaching 6 months after the first vaccination is also being assessed.

They also evaluate, considering the results that prove the safety of vaccines in the pediatric population, extending the Emergency Use Authorization of Cuban vaccines for children under two years of age up to one year of age.

Report Dr. Eduardo Martínez Díaz, president of BioCubaFarma, who spoke about other steps to be taken by the country in that direction.

While progress is attained in the vaccination strategy, in reaching recognition by WHO of Cuban vaccines and also in their production -which until the middle of this month reached more than 80 million doses, used in Cuba and 8 other countries-, self-responsibility and compliance with hygienic measures should not decline and should continue to accompany so much effort.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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