By Dani Blum

If you were infected with a previous version of Omicron recently, you can still become reinfected with BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California, San Francisco. However, a previous infection does confer some additional protection, he added — but that protection is unlikely to last beyond three months.

“No one’s going to be immune from re-infection,” said Dr. Steven Gordon, an infectious disease specialist at the Cleveland Clinic. “We can safely say that.”

The bivalent booster, which became available to adults in September, was designed to target BA.4 and BA.5, which were the dominant versions of the coronavirus at the time, but have tapered out as BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 have ascended. Still, the newest booster shots are likely to offer some protection against illness with these new subvariants, said Dr. Kelly Gebo, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Researchers aren’t sure just how substantial that protection is.

Link to article in The New York Times by Dani Blum



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