Detailing new emerging COVID variants and how effective new boosters could be
"The virus rewrites the book and so we've gotta move with it," says Texas A&M University virologist Dr. Ben Neuman, which pretty much sums up our nearly three year battle against COVID. Dr. Neuman is among the experts poring over the latest re-write.
"BM, BN, BR and XBBare all relatives of BA.2," he said. "And they're like BA.2 with a couple extra mutations...each of those mutations will give it some resistance against certain antibodies."
"This may mean these variants will be able to make more of us sick even though we may have been vaccinated, and/or had previous illness," said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, director of the Ohio Department of Health.
Which Neuman says is cause for concern, but not panic.
"The papers we have so far are comparing resistance from these to antibodies from the original vaccine," he says. That means with new omicron-tailored vaccines going up against offshoots of omicron, the early suggestions are that you'll have at least some degree of protection. We'll have a better idea what degree in a month or two.
Given all of this, both national and state health experts say now is a good time to get that booster before you and your family gather for the holidays.
"And only about three and a half percent of Americans have the new one, so I'm talking to most everybody!" Neuman said.
For the third year in a row, a call to do our part, so that COVID isn't an unwanted holiday guest.