💥 Some Good News! BA.2.86 is looking less scary than we thought.

COVID Variants Vaccines

As we covered last week, the new BA.2.86 variant raised eyebrows because of its high number of mutations, which made it look as different from current variants as Omicron was from Delta.

Since then, we’ve gotten new data from several different laboratories testing the behavior of BA.2.86.

All reached similar conclusions which were reassuring:

➡️ BA.2.86 does not seem to evade existing antibodies more than recent variants.

➡️ Antibodies from a previous XBB infection neutralize BA.2.86 quite well, which also bodes well for the upcoming updated XBB boosters.

➡️ BA.2.86 doesn’t seem to latch on to our cells as easily as other variants, so may not be as infectious.

⚠️ Caveats: These studies were all in a lab dish using “pseudoviruses”-engineered viruses that have been given the spike protein features of BA.2.86. These pseudoviruses are then tested in a lab dish with blood from human donors to see how well their antibodies neutralize the virus. These results don’t always generalize perfectly to real-world conditions, but they can give us a good indication of biological properties of the virus.


💥 Early results suggest BA.2.86 might not be as scary as its number of mutations initially suggested.

💥 AND–our updated COVID boosters should still neutralize it well, even if it does become dominant. YAY!!!

Stay safe. Stay well.

Those Nerdy Girls