A University of Pennsylvania doctor and former COVID-19 advisor to President Joe Biden said Monday that the new COVID variant is evading the vaccines.
Ezekiel Emanuel joined MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” and said the new variant, XBB 1.5, “is spreading very rapidly” and slipping past the defenses of the vaccines.
“So XBB 1.5 is spreading very rapidly, which means it can evade and outcompete the other subvariants,” Emmanuel said. “It seems to avoid the antibodies but also bind more tightly to cells and that gives it the competitive advantage it needs and unfortunately the antibodies that we have from infection or vaccines don’t seem to work and the monoclonal antibody shield we have that a lot of immunocompromised patients don’t use doesn’t seem to be working that well.”
Emanuel then added that despite best efforts, new variants will evade vaccines and immunity. (RELATED: MSNBC Host ‘Shocked And Appalled’ Her Kids Passed On COVID Boosters)
“We do see when the virus spreads to lots more people that you get more variants because the more it reproduces the higher the chance of a mutation or a recombination event,” he said.
The new variant makes up roughly 40.5% of all new infections across the country and is overtaking Omicron as the dominant variant, according to CBS News. Scientists say the new variant likely was driven by mutations of other variants, according to the report.