What BA.2.75 means for COVID-19 vaccines: 2 notes

A new COVID-19 omicron subvariant, BA.2.75, has appeared amid a rising case count spurred by other variants, and early data suggests it's more transmissible than other strains. Here's what that could mean for vaccines. 

1. Before BA.2.75 entered the stage, on June 30 the FDA recommended vaccinemakers to prioritize omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 as they test modified vaccine compositions for this fall. It may be too early to point to which subvariant to be most concerned for, but playing catch up is a slow process, experts warn. 

"The virus has almost been quicker than we are," Stanford (Calif.) University Professor of Medicine Dean Winslow, MD, told CBS News. "We can't really spool out vaccine production in just a couple of weeks. It takes quite a while to actually spool out vaccine production for some of these newer variants."

2. Though health experts are wary to draw conclusions before more data is available for the subvariant, which has been spotted in only three U.S. cases as of July 8, Glenn Wortmann, MD, infectious diseases section chief at MedStar Washington (D.C.) Hospital Center, told radio station WTOP the current COVID-19 vaccine should be effective against any subvariants, including BA.2.75.

 

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