BA.5 Variant is Spreading, Your COVID Immunity May Be Gone Because of It

by Spencer Kent, NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

This story is being republished under a special NJ News Commons content-sharing agreement related to COVID-19 coverage. Link to FULL story: nj.com/coronavirus/2022/07/think-you-have-covid-immunity-it-might-be-gone-thanks-to-the-latest-variant.html

It’s the most infectious strain yet, coming even as many people have written off the pandemic.

BA.5, now the dominant coronavirus subvariant in New Jersey and the U.S., has shown resistance to COVID-19 vaccines, making experts nervous. Worse, prior immunity doesn’t seem to be the shield it once was as protection from recent infection appears to offer reduced or even no armor against the strain.

“It seems to be by far the most transmissible variant that we have seen,” said Stephanie Silvera, an infectious disease expert and professor at Montclair State University.

New infections in New Jersey are rising. Hospitalizations are at four-month highs. And fall and winter—when pandemic surges have become commonplace—are just around the corner.