Jha: BA.5 is the "most immune evasive" variant yet
White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said Friday that the BA.5 subvariant is the "most contagious, certainly the most immune evasive variant we've seen" in an interview with NBC's Andrea Mitchell.
Driving the news: "If you were infected earlier this year, you're still at very high risk of reinfection, it means if you have not been vaccinated recently, you have a very high risk of having a breakthrough," Jha said Friday.
- Jha also said that he expects the CDC and FDA to make an announcement "reasonably soon" about whether Americans under 50 can receive second boosters.
Between the lines: Jha's remarks come as health officials are urging eligible people — those over 50 and immunocompromised individuals ages 12 and up — to get booster shots now instead of waiting for the fall, Axios’ Oriana Gonzalez reports.
- Yes, but: Some health experts question whether it’s wise to give frequent booster doses to the general population, Axios' Adriel Bettelheim reports.
- "In the days and weeks ahead, you're going to see vaccine availability become far more widespread," he added.