Omicron BA.5 and Omicron BA.4 strains predominate in COVID-19 patients in the United States
The Omicron BA.5 virus strain accounted for 81.9 percent of circulating coronavirus strains in the United States last week (ending July 23).
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported this on Tuesday.
This is higher than the 75.9 percent of circulating strains estimated the previous week.
The BA.5 strain has caused a spike in new infections worldwide and has shown that it is particularly good at evading the immune protection provided by either vaccination or prior infection.
The BA.4 strain has been reported to account for 12.9 percent of circulating strains of the virus in the United States.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has asked vaccine manufacturers to adapt a new vaccine for the fall season to combat these two strains.
Health officials are also urging people age 50 and older to get vaccinated, adding that it won’t prevent them from getting another “bivalent” vaccine designed to fight omicron later this year.