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BA.5 Covid variant 4 times more vaccine-resistant, reveals study

coronavirus vaccines. In a recent report, the Mayo Clinic said that the strain is "hypercontagious" and is contributing to increases in hospitalisations and ICU admissions.

Those yet to be vaccinated against Covid-19 have about a five times higher chance of contracting the virus compared to those who are vaccinated and boosted, while chances of hospitalisation are 7.5 times higher, and chances of death are 14 to 15 times higher, said Gregory Poland, Head of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group. The two new subvariants were earlier spotted in South Africa in April and quickly spread worldwide and also have a high transmission rate.  They carry mutations on their spike protein – the part of the virus that attaches to ACE2 receptors on human cells so they can enter them.

The BA.5 strain represented 65% of Covid-19 cases in the US in the week ending 9 July, as per the latest data from the US Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. It's not yet clear whether the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants evolved from the original Omicron variant, as experts believe they likely evolved from the previously dominant BA.2 Omicron variant.

Meanwhile, WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan has asked people to be prepared for fresh Covid-19 waves. Amid the onset of new variants that are more transmissible, immune evasive and growing concerns about greater hospitalisations, the WHO chief said.

“We need to be prepared for these #COVID19 waves -- each new #variant will be more transmissible & immune evasive -- higher numbers infected will translate into greater hospitalisations & sickness. All countries must have a data driven plan to quickly respond to changing situations," Swaminathan wrote on Twitter.

. covid-19 vaccine strain

Soumya Swaminathan

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Potential 'pregnancy register' in Poland stokes privacy fears for women - fox29.com - Eu - Poland - city Warsaw, Poland
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Potential 'pregnancy register' in Poland stokes privacy fears for women
FILE - A protester holds a placard reading "Legal abortion, no compromises" during the protest. (Alex Bona/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)WARSAW, Poland - The government of Poland, where a near-total abortion ban is in place, faced accusations Monday of creating a "pregnancy register" as the country expands the amount of medical data being digitally saved on patients.Women's rights advocates and opposition politicians fear women face unprecedented surveillance given the conservative views of a ruling party that has already tightened what was one of Europe's most restrictive abortion laws.They fear the new data could be used by police and prosecutors against women whose pregnancies end, even in cases of miscarriage, or that women could be tracked by the state if they order abortion pills or travel abroad for an abortion."A pregnancy registry in a country with an almost complete ban on abortion is terrifying," said Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk, a left-wing lawmaker.The matter gained attention Monday after Health Minister Adam Niedzielski signed an ordinance Friday expanding the amount of information to be saved in a central database on patients, including information on allergies, blood type and pregnancies.The health ministry spokesman, Wojciech Andrusiewicz, sought to allay concerns, saying only medical professionals will have access to the data, and that the changes are being made at the recommendation of the European Union.Tens of thousands of people marched across the U.S.
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