New COVID-19 Variants and What You Need to Know

Monday, December 26th, 2022, 1:31 am

With the holiday season in full swing, many people are planning to visit family and socialize in the coming weeks. But, concern over COVID-19 can quickly dampen the festive mood. In this article, we’ll discuss new COVID-19 variants and what you need to know to prevent infection all season long. 

COVID-19 Variants

The COVID-19 virus is constantly evolving, leading to several different variants over the past few years. Currently, Omicron is still considered the primary strain of COVID-19 in the United States. However, Omicron has several subvariants, including:

  • BA.5
  • BA.4.6
  • BQ.1
  • BF.7
  • BQ.1.1 

What Do I Need To Know About COVID-19 Variants?

The Omicron subvariants don’t differ greatly in the severity of symptoms that they cause. However, patients who received a previous version of the COVID-19 vaccine won’t be as effectively protected against the Omicron subvariants. This is because the vaccines have since been updated to identify Omicron’s unique structure. 

Getting the COVID-19 BA.5 booster shot can help protect you against infection this holiday season. Vaccines also help prevent the formation of more COVID-19 variants. 

More COVID-19 Tips For This Holiday Season

  • Get a COVID-19 test before and after attending holiday get-togethers and traveling. This is especially important for those visiting elderly and immunocompromised individuals. 
  • Practice excellent hand hygiene and use hand sanitizer after touching communal surfaces. 
  • Wear a face mask in crowded areas and public indoor spaces. 
  • If you’re feeling unwell or were recently in close contact with someone with COVID-19, celebrate at home.  
  • Avoid sharing utensils, plates, and glasses. 
  • Consider celebrating outdoors whenever possible. Increased circulation reduces your risk of catching the virus. 


Limiting the spread of COVID-19 can help ensure a happy, healthy holiday season for all. Visit Suncoast Urgent Care for COVID-19 testing, including rapid tests, as well as immunizations


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Category: COVID

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