COVID-19 Live Updates: XBB.1.16 Variant Drives Global Surge In COVID Deaths, Can Vaccine Protect You From Severity?

The XBB.1.16 variant of Omicron, also known as the Arcturus variant, is one of the dominant variants globally at the moment. With a high transmissibility rate and several mutations in its spike protein, the virus is capable of infecting fully vaccinated individuals as well. This variant is a recombinant variant that emerged from the BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75 lineages of the Omicron. The XBB.1.16 also has three additional mutations in the spike protein compared to its parent lineage, XBB, including E180V, F486P, and K478R.

While things may look scary right now, as cases are on the rise globally, experts have stated that getting vaccinated can help prevent the virus from causing severe health risks post-infection.  Speaking to the media about the rising concern about vaccine efficacy towards the new variant, a top health expert said, “Vaccination is currently the best way to protect against Covid-19, including the XBB.1.16 variant. Make sure you are up to date with your vaccinations, and follow any booster shot recommendations from your healthcare provider.”

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