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The U.S. national public health agency said on Friday that Omicron subvariants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 were estimated to account for about 44.2% of COVID-19 cases in the country for the week ending Nov. 12, compared with 32.6% in the previous week.

Daily global COVID-19 infections are projected to rise slowly to about 18.7 million by February from the current 16.7 million average daily cases, driven by the northern hemisphere’s winter months, the University of Washington said in an analysis.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday estimated that BQ.1 and closely related BQ.1.1 make up for 16.6% of the total circulating coronavirus variants in the United States, nearly doubling from last week.

Novavax Inc. said on Wednesday data from studies in adults and adolescents showed that the booster dose of its COVID vaccine produced robust antibodies against several Omicron variants, including BA.1, BA.2 and BA.5.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday estimated that nearly 13% of the circulating coronavirus variants in the United States were of the BA.4.6 subvariant of Omicron, as of the week ended Oct. 1.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday recommended the use of redesigned COVID-19 booster shots for people aged 12 years and older to target the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants of the coronavirus.

Compared with the earlier Omicron BA.2 subvariant, currently dominant Omicron BA.5 is linked with higher odds of causing a second SARS-COV-2 infection regardless of vaccination status, a study from Portugal suggests.

Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech SE said on Wednesday they had started a mid-stage study of a modified COVID-19 vaccine which targets both the original as well as the BA.2 Omicron subvariant.

China will pay close attention to variants of coronavirus in the long term, focusing on their transmission capability, pathogenicity and ability to evade immunity, a Chinese disease control official said on Thursday.

The BA.5 subvariant of Omicron was estimated to make up 77.9% of the circulating coronavirus variants in the United States for the week ended July 16, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Tuesday.