The recently detected BA.2.86 variant of Covid-19 could be more likely to cause infections in those who have already been vaccinated or infected than older variants, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced Wednesday.
However, the CDC said it was too soon to know if this will cause more severe infection than other variants.
But due to the high number of mutations detected in this lineage, there were concerns about its impact on immunity from vaccines and previous infections.
‘Nearly all the U.S. population has antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 from vaccination, previous infection, or both, and it is likely that these antibodies will continue to provide some protection against severe disease from this variant,’ the agency said.
The announcement comes as two Americans have tested positive for BA.2.86, and cases of another new variant, EG.5, or Eris, are on the rise.
However, the CDC said the current increase in US hospitalizations is not likely driven by BA.2.86.