There appears to be a rise in COVID-19 illnesses, driven by Omicron subvariants, which may be better able to evade immunity from vaccines and previous infections and lower public health measures by the public such as masking and social distancing.

CureVac and GSK’s second-generation vaccine candidate targeting two recent COVID-19 variants has been shown to be highly effective in preclinical studies on mice, CureVac said, as the biotech firm seeks to catch up with rivals’ development work.

The World Health Organization said on April 11 it is tracking a few dozen cases of two new sub-variants of the highly transmissible Omicron strain of the coronavirus to assess whether they are more infectious or dangerous.

Authorities in Vietnam detected a new coronavirus variant that is a combination of the Indian and UK Covid-19 variants and spreads quickly by air, the health minister said on May 29.

A double dose of Covid-19 vaccines is almost as effective against the fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus first identified in India as it is against Britain’s dominant strain, English health officials said on May 22.