Covid’s Persistent Pattern

The government is planning on rolling out updated Omicron-targeting booster shots this fall, specifically with a component of the BA.5 subvariant, which now accounts for 85% of U.S. infections. Even if some other Omicron sublineage becomes dominant by then, the shots could be a better match against what’s circulating than the original formulation — and could help bolster protection against infection, and in turn act as a drag on transmission. The updated shot will combine the BA.5 component with the original vaccines that targeted the virus’s spike protein from early 2020. Training the immune system on two variants can lead to a broader response generally, said Meagan Deming, a virologist and infectious diseases physician at the University of Maryland. 

Covid has settled into a persistent pattern — and remains damaging. —

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