New rise in covid infections in Italy in the last 7 days and eyes on Omicron 5, the very contagious sub-variant of the coronavirus, but with less severe symptoms than the Delta. Meanwhile, the recall of the Moderna vaccine, updated also for variant 4, is ready in August. Read also SYMPTOMS, WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY – Omicron 5, even “more contagious” than Omicron 2 now dominant in the world, “but associated with a minor symptomatology” , could represent the ‘swan song’ of the Covid-19 pandemic according to Maria Rita Gismondo, director of the Laboratory of clinical microbiology, virology and bioemergency diagnostics at the Sacco hospital in Milan. The characteristics of the sub-variant BA.5, which together with its ‘sister’ BA.4 fueled a fifth wave of Covid in South Africa and is now also circulating in Europe with a surge in cases, for example in Portugal, are in fact “in full harmony. with what – underlines the expert at Adnkronos Salute – based on the history of the epidemics is the phase of the pandemic tail “. “The tails of pandemics – highlights the microbiologist – are usually characterized by viruses that have a very attenuated aggression in terms of associated disease, but a much greater infectivity precisely because the pathogen tries to preserve itself”. This is why Omicron 5, which “will certainly spread everywhere because it is very contagious, must not worry us at all as it is not very serious”, reassures Gismondo. “, the return of the cold season” should not reserve us any particular problems – he explains – Surely we will have more infections, but not serious pathologies. And in the event that the virus should have a stroke of the tail, we have the tools to deal with it “.” Omicron 5 it is even more contagious than the other “‘versions’ of Sars-CoV-2,” but the symptoms “it causes” are essentially the same, because it is not that a virus can change its characteristics in an obvious way. less bad “and this shows that” all in all this virus is following the most natural way: the one that leads it to greater contagiousness, combined with greater benevolence “he underlined yesterday to Adnkronos Salute the virologist Fabrizio Pregliasco, professor at the State University of Milan. For the expert “it is presumed that” the sub-variant BA.5 “becomes prevalent, precisely because it has favorable evolutionary characteristics”. And looking at autumn, “except for more threatening variants that we remember, they may emerge by chance, because the virus is not intelligent”, according to the health director of Irccs Galeazzi, the fixed point is that “Covid will be there. I keep thinking that we will have to. wait for a wave pattern – he reiterated – like those produced by a stone in a pond “.
THE REGIONS WHERE THE MOST CIRCULATES – The Omicron BA.5 sub-variant runs in Italy. On 17 June, in fact, it was already 23.15% of national prevalence, but in some regions it surpassed the others: in Valle d’Aosta it is 100%, in Basilicata at 70% and in Molise at 50%. This is what emerges from the results of the rapid survey conducted last June 7 by the Higher Institute of Health and the Ministry of Health, together with the regional laboratories and the Bruno Kessler Foundation. In Lazio it is above average at 32.5%, in Puglia it is 32.6% and in Friuli Venezia Giulia at 31.1%.
VACCINE, BOOSTER FROM AUGUST – An updated Moderna vaccine booster for Covid Omicron 4 and 5. “We are preparing to provide our bivalent booster vaccine starting in August, in view of a potential increase in Sars-CoV-2 infections due to the Omicron sub-variants in early autumn.” This was announced by Stéphane Bancel, CEO of the American company Moderna who today reported for the vaccine candidate mRna-1273.214 “powerful neutralizing antibody responses” against BA.4 and BA.5, Omicron 4 and 5. The new data will be sent to the regulatory authorities and for a peer reviewed publication. Vaccine candidate mRna-1273.214 combines Omicron-specific booster candidate mRna-1273.529 with Covid vaccine Spikevax * (mRna-1273). “One month after administration, in people previously vaccinated and subjected to booster – reports Moderna in a note – a booster dose of 50 micrograms of mRNA-1273.214 elicited” against Omicron 4 and 5 “powerful neutralizing antibody responses in all participants, regardless of whether or not they had a previous “SARS-CoV-2 infection.” In detail, we read, “mRNA-1273.214 enhanced the neutralizing titers against BA.4 / BA.5 by 5.4 times above the baseline level in all” study participants, “regardless of previous infection, and by 6.3 times in the subgroup of seronegative participants “, that is, who had not had Covid.” Faced with the continuous evolution of Sars-CoV-2 – comments Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna – we are very encouraged by the fact that mRNA-1273.214, the our main autuno booster candidate, exhibited high neutralizing titers against the subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, which pose an emerging threat to global public health. “