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New Omicron subvariant BA.2.75 may be more transmissible, evades vaccine — expert

An infectious disease expert on Wednesday said the new COVID-19 Omicron subvariant BA.2.75 may be more transmissible and may evade the current vaccines available against the coronavirus disease.

At the Laging Handa briefing, Dr. Rontgene Solante said they are waiting for more studies to show if the BA.2.75 dubbed as “Centaurus” could cause more severe symptoms.

“It’s too early to tell the characteristics and the behavior of this new Omicron BA.2.75, but there are mutations that they found most likely, it can have higher rate of transmission just like what we have now in BA.5. There is also a possibility that it can also affect our vaccines,” he said.

“If you look at the genetic tree of the Omicron variant, as they evolve, there’s always that possibility of increased transmissibility and the ability to evade the vaccines, the protection that we have with vaccines,” he added.

BA.2.75 first emerged in India in May and has since spread to other countries like the United States, Britain, Australia, and Netherlands.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has tagged the BA.2.75 as a "variant under monitoring.”

Solante said that it is just a matter of time when the BA.2.75 will enter the country, thus the government should prepare for this possibility.

“I cannot see that it will not happen here to us or it cannot enter here. There’s a possibility. It’s only a matter of time of when it will enter here,” he said.

The Philippines on Tuesday logged 1,841 new COVID-19 cases which brought the active caseload to 20,511. — RSJ, GMA News