July 27 – The BA.5 Omicron subvariant is estimated to account for 81.9% of circulating coronavirus variants in the United States in the week ending July 23, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Tuesday.
This was higher than the 75.9% prevalence estimated in the previous week.
BA.5 is driving the rise in new infections worldwide and has been shown to be particularly good at evading the immune protection provided by either vaccination or previous infection.
The omicron subvariant BA.4 is estimated to account for 12.9% of circulating variants in the United States, the data showed.
The US Food and Drug Administration has asked vaccine manufacturers to focus on the two currently dominant subvariants for a potential booster dose for the fall season.
U.S. health officials are also urging people 50 and older to get a booster, adding that it wouldn’t prevent them from getting another “bivalent” booster to more specifically fend off Omicron later this year.