Omicron sub-variants BA.4, BA.5 make up 70% of COVID variants in U.S. - CDC

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A person takes a COVID-19 test in Times Square as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 26, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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July 5 (Reuters) - The fast-spreading BA.4 and BA.5 sub-lineages of Omicron are estimated to make up a combined 70.1% of the coronavirus variants in the United States as of July 2, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday.

BA.4 and BA.5 made up 52% of U.S. variants for the week of June 25. They were added to the World Health Organization's monitoring list in March and designated as variants of concern by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended last week that COVID-19 vaccine makers change the design of their booster shots beginning this fall to include components tailored to combat BA.4 and BA.5. read more

BA.4 made up 16.5% of the variants in circulation, the latest data showed, while BA.5 accounted for 53.6%.

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Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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