Omicron BA.4.6 Makes Up around 14% COVID-19 Variants, US CDC


The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that nearly 14 percent of the circulating COVID-19 variants in the United States were of BA.4.6 subvariant of Omicron. The Omicron BA.4.6 subvariant is expected to account for around 13.6 percent of total COVID-19 cases in the United States, which is higher than the prevalence of 12.7 percent.

The BA.4.6 subvariant has been found to be better at evading COVID-19 antibody therapies, and with the US FDA warning healthcare providers that Evusheld of AstraZeneca had the risk of being ineffective against some COVID-19 variants it cannot neutralize.

According to the US FDA fact sheet, the BA.4.6 subvariant was likely to have an over 1,000-fold reduction in susceptibility to the antibody therapy, which was based on the laboratory tests. The BA.4.6 subvariant is increasing in prevalence across the United States, even as the Omicron BA.5 subvariant remains the dominant strain with 79.2 percent of the COVID-19 cases.

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Both BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants have been driving a surge in new infections globally. Recently, the United States has started administration of COVID-19 vaccine boosters specifically retooled for targeting both the subvariants.


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