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NY health leaders watching new COVID variants amid vaccine update

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

As the U.S. prepares for the rollout of updated COVID-19 vaccines next month, New York health officials closely monitor emerging virus variants.


The Food and Drug Administration is on track to approve these modified vaccines, designed to combat recent strains, with distribution commencing upon the CDC director’s endorsement.

Commenting on the EG.5 variant, which has seen a surge in cases, New York State Department of Health Commissioner James McDonald remains unworried, noting its similarity in severity to previous strains and confirming the efficacy of the forthcoming vaccine against it.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

However, a different variant, labeled BA.2.86, presents new questions. Genetically distinct from EG.5, its potential impact on the updated vaccine’s effectiveness remains unclear.

So far, the CDC reports nine instances of this strain globally, including two in the U.S. While the variant hasn’t been detected in New York, McDonald anticipates its arrival in the upcoming weeks, underscoring the continuous need for monitoring and adaptation in the fight against COVID-19.