BA.2 is the new COVID-19 variant on the block, a subvariant of Omicron. While we are still learning more, here’s some information about what we do know:
- BA.2 is rapidly spreading through much of the world. According to the CDC COVID-19 variant tracker, it is estimated to be 54.9% of U.S. cases and 58.9% in our region as of March 26.
- BA.2 emerged alongside Omicron, however, it did not arrive in the U.S. until recently.
- BA.2 appears to be about 30% more transmissible than Omicron but does not cause more severe disease.
- BA.2 is present in Washington State but is not currently driving an increase in cases and hospitalizations in Whatcom County.
Early data shows that vaccines are just as effective against BA.2 as they were against other Omicron strains. That means that the COVID-19 vaccine is the most effective protection against infection and severe illness.
To see estimated variant proportions in the U.S., visit https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#variant-proportions
For more information on this and other COVID-19 variants: