‘Deltacron’ variant of COVID: Where is it? Do vaccines work? What is known so far about the coronavirus strain – NJ.com

A new COVID-19 variant called “Deltacron” has been discovered in Europe and the United States.

It is a hybrid between the delta and omicron variants of the coronavirus, also known by scientists as the AY.4/BA.1 recombinant.

Here’s what you need to know.

Where has Deltacron been discovered?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Deltacron has been detected in small numbers in European countries such as France, Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands.

Two cases of Deltacron have also been discovered in the U.S., according to The New York Times.

Is the Deltacron variant dangerous?

Scientists say this variant of COVID-19 is not a “variant of concern” as classified by the WHO and that this variant is “extremely rare.”

Dr. Etienne Simon-Loriere told the Times that most of the virus’s spike proteins come from the less-severe omicron variant of COVID-19, adding that the rest of the genome comes from the delta variant.

“We have not seen any change in the epidemiology with this recombinant,” WHO COVID-19 technical lead Maria Van Kerkhove said at a news conference. “We haven’t seen any change in severity. But there are many studies that are under way.”

Van Kerkhove, however, added the newly discovered variant is expected to spread, saying “the pandemic is far from over.”

Do vaccines work against the Deltacron variant?

The spike protein is crucial to the virus’s ability to invade cells and is also the main target of antibodies that come from infections and vaccines.

Therefore, scientists say the vaccines on the market should work just as well with the new variant as it does with the variants already discovered and in circulation.

“The surface of the viruses is super-similar to Omicron, so the body will recognize it as well as it recognizes Omicron,” Dr. Simon-Loriere said.

Related stories about the omicron variant and COVID-19:

How to get 4 more at-home COVID tests for free

COVID could become ‘seasonal virus,’ CDC director says

How to get a COVID booster shot at CVS, Walgreens or Rite Aid

Omicron subvariant BA.2: The new symptoms to look out for

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Katherine Rodriguez can be reached at krodriguez@njadvancemedia.com. Have a tip? Tell us at nj.com/tips.