Saolta monitoring new variant

SAOLTA University Health Care Group says it is monitoring the arrival of a new variant of Covid-19.

Hundreds of cases of the new Omicron variant XE have been detected in England. As of March 22, 637 cases of XE had been detected.

The UK Health Security Agency said it was studying XE – a mutation of the BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron strains, referred to as a “recombinant”.


While early growth rates for XE were not significantly different from BA.2, most recent data up to March 16, 2022 revealed it had a growth rate 9.8 per cent above that of the stealth variant.

A Saolta spokesperson told the Donegal News said they have received advice from the HSE Public Health Department North West.

“There are many variants around given the behaviour of viruses to change and these are monitored all the time looking out for differences that influence the impact on infection in people. There is no concern regarding this new variant yet.”

Meanwhile, a second booster vaccine has been approved for those aged 65 and over, along with immunocompromised groups.

The Department of Health has announced that people over the age of 65 and immunocompromised group will be offered a second Covid-19 booster vaccination.

It has also been recommended that those aged 12 years and older, who are immunocompromised receive a second booster, and those who are immunocompromised aged five to 11 years should complete an extended primary course; total of three vaccine doses.

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