Saturday, June 15, 2024

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New vaccine introduces next month to prevent Eris spreading 

, A new COVID vaccine is due out next month, following  a new Covid variant, called Eris spreading across Europe, Asia and North America, raising alarms about a potential surge in infections keeping health authorities in Sri Lanka also on alert,

Recent data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) reveals that Eris is responsible for one in seven Covid cases in the country, propelling it to the second most common strain, trailing closely behind Arcturus. 

Some public health experts hope that Americans will welcome the new shot as they would a flu jab. But demand for the vaccine has dropped sharply since 2021 when it first became available and more than 240 million people in the U.S., or 73% of the population, received at least one shot.

In the fall of 2022, by which time most people had either had the COVID virus or the vaccine, fewer than 50 million people got the shots.

Healthcare providers and pharmacies such as CVS Health (CVS.N) will start next month to offer the shot, updated to fight the Omicron version of the virus that has been dominant since last year.

They will be fighting declining concern about the virus, as well as fatigue and skepticism about the merits of this vaccine, Kaiser Family Foundation Director of Survey Methodology Ashley Kirzinger said.

“Public health officials, if they want to see a majority of adults get these annual vaccines, they’re going to have to make the case to the American public that COVID isn’t over and it still poses a risk to them,” Kirzinger said.

Sri Lankan Health authorities said they keep a close eye on the new developments of the virus and are on alert.

A descendant of Omicron, Eris, or EG.5.1, was first flagged as a variant in the UK on 31 July, but now accounts for one in 10 Covid cases.

It is now the second most prevalent variant in the UK, after Arcturus which makes up almost half of all infection cases at 39.4 percent, according to UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

Sri Lanka COVID-19 Coordinator Dr. Anwar Hamdani said the Ministry has always been on alert on any new disease spreading in a foreign country as it could pose a threat to Sri Lanka.

“As far as the virus spreading in the UK is concerned, we are vigilant and monitoring the situation,” said Dr Hamdani.

As per the latest report by the UKHSA on August 3, COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the UK.

The five most common symptoms of Eris, a strain of Omicron, are runny nose, headache, fatigue, sneezing, and sore throat, as per health experts.

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