In the US, the scenario of the variants changes: BA.5 or Omicron 5, which for months had been the main responsible for the cases of Covid-19, is about to be overtaken by BQ.1 together with its sub-lineage BQ.1.1 (Cerberus) . In the last week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the sub-variants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 were responsible for 35.3% of infections, a step away from BA.5 which is 39.2%. The rise was very rapid: in the last week of September they were responsible for 1.7% and 0.9% of cases respectively. In mid-October they were at 5.4% and 3.5%. Both had surpassed 11% last week to reach 16.5% and 18.8% this week, respectively, with the sub-variant BQ.1.1 also surpassing the parent sub-variant. In the same period, the weight of the BA.5 sub-variant halved, going from almost 80% of cases to less than 40%.
“In many contexts, including Europe and the United States, BQ.1 is showing a significant growth advantage over other circulating Omicron sub-lineages and therefore deserves close monitoring, “said the technical group of theWorld Health Organization dedicated to the variants that met in recent days. “There are currently no epidemiological data to suggest an increase in the severity of the disease. On the basis of currently available knowledge, protection from vaccines against infections can be reduced, but no major impact is expected on protection against serious disease ”.
“I’m not a biologist and I can only say what we see right now is that we have a mix of variations“Waiting to understand” which ones will dominate, if they will. The indication is that it is possible that they may escape the monoclonal antibodies we use in therapy, but the data suggest that vaccines continue to give us protection against serious illness and hospitalization. This is what interests us ”he explains to beraking latest news Salute è Alberto Mantovani, scientific director of the Irccs Humanitas Clinical Institute of Rozzano (Milan) and professor emeritus of Humanitas University. “The lesson we should have learned from the past is that vaccines have continued to protect us against severe forms“Covid” and hospitalizations even with the appearance of variants that have changed over time and it is reasonable to think that they will continue to do the same with regard to the new variants “. “I hope – he concludes – that we will move towards an annual vaccination like the one we do for the flu, unless something totally out of our periscope arrives. And let’s not forget the flu. For example, I did the anti-Covid booster on the right arm and the anti-flu one on the left. To protect myself and the fragile people I come in contact with ”.