Study finds Omicron BA.4, BA.5 can dodge immunity from infection, Covid vaccination

According to a new study that has not yet been peer-reviewed, Omicron sub variants BA.4 and BA.5 have the ability to escape immunity established by both past Covid infection and immunisation.

The findings, according to researchers from the Africa Health Research Institute in South Africa, could signal a new wave of BA.4 and BA.5 infections. Scientists from South Africa's Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation (CERI) discovered two new sub-variants of the highly contagious Omicron variant last month.

Tulio de Oliveira, Director of CERI, announced that "BA.4 and BA.5 are unique from other Omicron lineages" in a series of tweets."The origins of BA.4 and BA.5 are thought to occur in mid-December 2021 and early January 2022, respectively." The sub variants have been found in more than 20 nations, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, Israel, Denmark, France, Germany, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Switzerland, according to de Oliveira.

Researchers at the Institute analyzed blood samples from 24 persons infected with the original Omicron strain who had not been immunised. The sublineages were also compared to samples from 15 vaccinated patients, eight of whom had Pfizer vaccines and seven of whom had Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

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