Los Angeles: Omicron new subvariant XBB.1.5 is estimated to account for 43 per cent of the Covid-19 cases in the US for the week ending January 14, according to data released Friday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The subvariant XBB.1.5 is spreading quickly in the US. It made up 30.4 per cent of the total cases in the week ending January 7, rising from 20.1 per cent from a week before and 11.8 per cent from two weeks prior, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the CDC.
XBB.1.5 is currently the most transmissible variant in the country. The World Health Organization said earlier this week XBB.1.5 may spur more Covid-19 cases based on genetic characteristics and early growth rate estimates.
Another two dominant Omicron subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 accounted for about 45 per cent of new Covid-19 cases in the US in the latest week, CDC data showed.
Meanwhile, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have announced that their surveillance system flagged a possible link between the new Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent Covid-19 vaccine and strokes in people aged 65 and older.
Following the availability and use of the updated vaccine, CDC's Vaccine Safety Datalink, a near real-time surveillance system, met the statistical criteria to prompt additional investigation into "whether there was a safety concern" for ischemic stroke in people aged 65 and older who received the updated vaccine, Xinhua news agency reported, citing a statement on the CDC website.
The investigation "raised a question of whether" stroke risk was elevated in the 21-day period post-vaccination versus 22 to 44 days post-vaccination, according to the CDC.
A preliminary study using the US Veterans Affairs database did not indicate an increased risk of ischemic stroke following the updated vaccine, according to the CDC.
The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System managed by CDC and FDA has not seen an increase in reporting of ischemic strokes following the vaccine.
Pfizer and BioNTech said in a statement that "there is no evidence to conclude that ischemic stroke is associated with the use of the companies' Covid-19 vaccines."
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