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2 Your Well-Being: Cone Health Doctor discusses new COVID-19 variant

COVID-19 numbers are on the rise due to a newer, more contagious variant of the virus.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — COVID-19 metrics are headed in the wrong direction all across the Triad. A new variant of the virus, BA.5, has caused increased spread everywhere.

To help make sense of all the data, Cone Health's Infection Prevention Medical Director Dr. Cynthia Snider joined WFMY News 2 on this 2 Your Well-Being.

Dr. Snider said she is not surprised to see metrics where they are today. She said the new variant has led to a steady increase in cases worldwide.

"We have to consider that the majority of the population is vaccinated or has had past infections," Dr. Snider said. "We realize that even if you have a COVID infection earlier this year, it's not going to give you enough protection against BA.5."

Dr. Snider said the newer variant has led to a higher rate of reinfection. She said there's really no limit to how many times someone can get the virus.

Doctors have routinely said vaccinations are the best way to protect yourself, and that remains the case. While the new variant is more likely to evade vaccines, the antibodies in your body help prevent serious illness at a high rate.

Vaccine eligibility was recently expanded to children younger than 5. Dr. Snider said now is a great time to consider getting your child vaccinated as the school year approaches.

Like all the other COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved, Dr. Snider said the kids' doses underwent rigorous testing. During those trial periods, the data showed the doses were both safe and effective.

    

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