About the new strain of coronavirus XBB.1.5 and whether it is present in Ukraine – Ministry of Health

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The global situation surrounding COVID-19 remains volatile. New types and subtypes of the disease appear. Recently, epidemiologists have been paying attention to the spread of a new strain called ХВВ.1.5, which was first detected in the United States of America in October 2022. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is already second only to the original Omicron subtype, or 40% of all confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in the US.

The WHO reported that the new strain of the XBB.1.5 coronavirus has already been detected in 29 countries. Laboratory and epidemiologic studies are underway to determine to what extent XBB.1.5 is more serious than other circulating subvariants. Currently, insufficient information is available to assess any changes in the severity of infection associated with this subtype.

As of the beginning of January, no new strain of ХВВ.1.5 has been detected in Ukraine, and the situation with the course of the coronavirus is under control. The Center for Public Health conducts molecular epidemiological surveillance of SARS-CoV2 on an ongoing basis, and since the beginning of such surveillance, 928 sequences have already been performed.

As before, vaccination is the main means of protecting against the severe course of the disease due to the coronavirus and potentially new subvariants.

“If you are in safe conditions and have the opportunity to see a family doctor, do not delay and he will make the necessary vaccination against COVID-19. Currently, there are about eight million doses of vaccines of three types in Ukraine: single-dose Johnson & Johnson, two-dose Pfizer (child and adult forms) and CoronaVac,” said the Deputy Minister of Health – Chief State Medical Doctor of Ukraine Ihor Kuzin.

The vaccination course includes one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two doses of another vaccine available in Ukraine. To extend protection, booster vaccination should be done: the first – after 5 months, the second – after 4.

Since the start of the vaccination campaign, 15.4 million Ukrainians have received two doses of the vaccine against COVID-19. About 12.4 million did not receive the first booster, that is, they do not have full protection.

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