Expert warns about transmissible Omicron variant BA.5 | Sri Lanka News


Head of the Department of Immunology and Molecular Biology at Sri Jayewardenepura University, Dr. Chandima Jeewandara said yesterday that the latest COVID-19 Omicron variant BA.5 is the most transmissible and immune-evasive lineage detected since the pandemic began.

“We are all distracted, but there is still a pandemic happening. The latest COVID-19 lineage BA.5 is the most transmissible and immune-evasive lineage detected since the pandemic began and it's not MILD. BA.5 has been detected in 63 countries although none in SriLanka as yet,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, according to new data from researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, of Harvard Medical School, Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 appear to escape antibody responses among both people who had previous Covid-19 infection and those who have been fully vaccinated and boosted.

However, Covid-19 vaccination is still expected to provide substantial protection against severe disease, and vaccine manufacturers are working on updated shots that might elicit a stronger immune response against the variants.

The levels of neutralizing antibodies that a previous infection or vaccinations elicit are several times lower against the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants compared with the original coronavirus, according to the new research published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

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