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Even ‘Pumpkin Magic’ won’t save your orange Kool Aid drinking ass-Winter is Coming:
The Nightmare COVID Variant That Beats Our Immunity Is Finally Here
The XBB subvariant of Omicron appears to be the fastest spreading COVID virus yet, and most of our treatments don’t touch it.
A new subvariant of the novel-coronavirus called XBB dramatically announced itself earlier this week, in Singapore. New COVID-19 cases more than doubled in a day, from 4,700 on Monday to 11,700 on Tuesday—and XBB is almost certainly why. The same subvariant just appeared in Hong Kong, too.
A highly mutated descendant of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that drove a record wave of infections starting around a year ago, XBB is in many ways the worst form of the virus so far. It’s more contagious than any previous variant or subvariant. It also evades the antibodies from monoclonal therapies, potentially rendering a whole category of drugs ineffective as COVID treatments.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that the new “bivalent” vaccine boosters from Pfizer and Moderna seem to work just fine against XBB, even though the original vaccines are less effective against XBB. They won’t prevent all infections and reinfections, but they should significantly reduce the chance of severe infection potentially leading to hospitalization or death. “Even with immune-evasive variants, vaccine protection against what matters most—severe disease—remains intact,” Adalja said.