NYC Health Officials: “Highly transmissible” Omicron XBB.1.5 COVID-19 variant maybe more likely to affect the vaccinated

Tuesday, January 17, 2023 | Tag Cloud Tags: , ,

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – New York City health officials announced Friday that Omicron XBB.1.5 is the most transmissible COVID-19 variant they know of to date, and it may be more likely to affect those who have been vaccinated against the Covid-19 and those who have already had the virus, NBC New York reports.

In a Twitter post on Friday, the NYC health department said XBB.1.5 is now responsible for a large majority of all COVID cases in the city. “Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 now accounts for 73% of all sequenced COVID-19 cases in NYC. XBB.1.5 is the most transmissible form of COVID-19 that we know of to date,” the post reads.

Moreover, the officials continued in the Twitter post: “[Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5] may be more likely to infect people who have been vaccinated or already had COVID-19.”

Acknowledging this likelihood, Dr. Ashish Jha, head of the White House COVID Task Force, said in a statement last week that protection against infection XBB.1.5. is “not that great” for those who have not had COVID-19 since July, or those who were last vaccinated prior to the bivalent update in September, NBC reports.

According to figures updated by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Friday, XBB.1.5 accounts for an estimated 82.7% of COVID-19 infections in the New York region, which also includes New Jersey, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. That is an increase from a 72.7% baseline estimate and 81.2% high in the previous week’s CDC report, NBC said.

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