Matt Rourke / AP
The BA.5 omicron subvariant, now the most widespread coronavirus strain in the United States, is four times more resistant to COVID-19 vaccines, according to a new study.
The strain, which according to the Mayo Clinic is considered “hypercontagious”, is more defiant against messenger RNA vaccines, which include Pfizer and Moderna.
The BA.5 strain represented 65% of cases from 3 to 9 July, according to data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.
It contributes to increases in COVID-19 admissions and admissions to intensive care units across the country.
But vaccines still provide much better protection than going without the precautions.
Non-vaccinated people are about five times more likely to contract the virus than those who have been vaccinated and boosted, while the chances of hospitalization are 7.5 times higher and the chances of death are 14 to 15 times higher, says Dr. Gregory Poland, head of the clinic. Mayo Clinic’s vaccine research group.
“Let me make a clear and unambiguous point here, which is a little hard to hear: whether you have been vaccinated, whether you have been infected before, whether you have been infected and vaccinated in the past, you have very little protection against BA. 5 in terms of getting infected or having mild to moderate infection, “he said. “You have good protection against dying, being hospitalized or ending up in a respirator.”
The CDC still recommends being tested if you experience COVID-19 symptoms, and wearing masks depending on the number of cases in which you live.
The more contagious omicron variant was first discovered in the United States in December 2021.
As the BA.5 strain becomes more popular, the prevalence of the BA.1, BA 1.1 and BA.2 omicron subvariants has decreased.