New COVID-19 variant emerges

Oct. 21, 2021

A new SARS-CoV-2 variant has emerged — AY 4.2, which is a sub-lineage of the Delta variant, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH, said at a news briefing of the White House COVID-19 Response Team.

“The AY 4.2 variant has drawn some attention in recent days,” she said, adding that it has been identified in the United Kingdom. “And we have on occasion identified the sub-lineage here in the United States but not with recent increased frequency or clustering to date.”

"At this time, there is no evidence that the sub-lineage AY 4.2 impacts the effectiveness of our current vaccines or therapeutics, and we will continue to follow up,” said Walensky. She also said that the CDC has been partnering with academic institutions and public health departments to track variants of SARS-CoV-2.

Meanwhile, the UK Health Security Agency confirmed in a recent report that AY 4.2 is expanding in England, and the agency is now monitoring the variant.

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