So far, 3 subvariants of Omicron have been described: BA.1, BA.2 and BA.3. Worldwide, BA.1 accounts for the vast majority of cases. In Denmark, however, BA.2 wins at the expense of BA.1.
Preliminary analysis shows that BA-2 has similar hospital admissions but this may change once we start vaccinating against the mild variant.
The subvariant BA.2 accounted for 20% of all cases of infection in Denmark in week 52, while in week 2 it accounts for approx. 45%. At the same time, the share of BA.1 has fallen.
There is also an increase in BA.2 cases in other countries, i.a. Great Britain, Norway and Sweden, but apparently not quite at the same level as in Denmark.
BA.1 and BA.2 have many differences in mutations in the important areas. In fact, the difference between BA.1 and BA.2 is greater than the difference between the original variant and the alpha variant.
Such differences can lead to different characteristics which, for example, may relate to infectivity, vaccine effect or severity. There is as yet no final clarification of whether BA.1 and BA.2 have different properties, but SSI is continuously working to investigate this.
So far no difference in hospital admissions
Preliminary analysis from SSI show that there is no difference in the risk of admission with BA.2 compared to BA.1. Analysis regarding infectivity and vaccine effectiveness etc. has been initiated, just as attempts are also being made to grow BA.2 so that antibody neutralization studies can be performed. The expectation is that vaccines also have an effect against serious illness when it comes to BA.2.
Considering the new subvariant is still mild we would do well to remember what Geert Van Bosche said and his warning about vaccinating the mass population with leaky vaccines.
“Mass vaccination against mild Omicron with vaccines that can NOT induce sterilizing immunity (can NOT stop the spread of the virus). This increases high immune pressure on the virus and can only drive and promotes immune escape.”