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White House officials push boosters as BA.5 surge intensifies

At a briefing today, Ashish Jha, MD, the White House committee's coordinator, said officials have been closely tracking the rapidly evolving BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, which are the most transmissible forms of Omicron and can evade protection from earlier infection and vaccines. He and his team, however, emphasized that the vaccination can still protect against severe outcomes. Jha said if people haven't gotten a vaccine dose in 2022, it's time to get one now. 'It could save your life,' he said. He acknowledged that some people may be holding off on getting boosted, anticipating a rise in COVID activity in the fall, while others might be waiting for an Omicron-specific booster. Jha said getting boosted now won't preclude people from getting another dose in the fall or winter when the Omicron-specific version is expected to be available. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, said proportions of BA.4 and BA.5 are increasing, especially, with the two related subvariants making up about 81% of circulating viruses, up significantly from about 70% last week

CIDRAP - July 12, 2022

View the full story here: https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2022/07/white-house-officials-push-boosters-ba5-surge-intensifies