- The Omicron subvariants are triggering another surge of COVID cases across the US. As of June 1, BA.2.12.1 sublineage makes up nearly 63 percent of cases sequenced in May. We know transmissibility is greater for these subvariants.
- We are keeping an eye on BA.4 and BA.5, first identified in South Africa earlier this year. We know these subvariants do partially evade immunity from vaccination and previous infection. These two variants seem to be picking up quickly and could outpace the current subvariant.
- We expect COVID case rates to be much higher than reported as many are now using rapid testing which does not get reported to public health. While hospitalization rates are higher, they are fortunately still well below rates seen during the 2021 surges. Wastewater surveillance is actively being used to trend disease prevalence also.
- At the end of May, the CDC strengthened recommendations for those age 50 and older to move ahead with a second booster dose if it’s been at least four months since their prior vaccine. Children 5–11 should also receive a second booster dose if at least five months from their last shot.
- A fourth COVID vaccine option will be available soon as the protein subunit vaccine Novavax was authorized by the FDA on June 7, 2022.