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.

An experimental monoclonal antibody treatment for Covid-19 being developed by Eli Lilly and Co. and AbCellera Biologics Inc. can “potently” neutralize numerous coronavirus variants, including those first identified in the UK, Brazil, South Africa, California and New York, scientists found in test tube experiments. According to another study, some Covid-19 survivors infected early in the pandemic still have detectable antibodies against the virus a year later.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s chief medical adviser on Feb. 25 downplayed the results of two studies suggesting that a new coronavirus variant found in New York City in November will be more resistant to vaccines now being administered.