July 4, 2022 5.00 pm

New Omicron variant becoming dominant Covid strain in Lincolnshire

It makes up all of new cases in some areas

By Local Democracy Reporter

A new strain of Covid that is sweeping the country has quickly established itself in Lincolnshire.

A study has estimated that the new BA.5 sub-variant accounted for more than half of all new cases in the most recent figures.

It has caused a spike in coronavirus, with cases up 40% in the county in a single week.

The Wellcome Sanger Institute’s Coronavirus genome survey believes that the variant accounted for between 50% and 100% in different Lincolnshire districts in the last week in June.

All new cases in South Holland are believed to be BA.5.

West Lindsey is the second highest, with around two-thirds of cases, and the City of Lincoln and East Lindsey are both estimated to have 50%.

Data isn’t available for North Kesteven for the latest week – however, it was 100% in the week before that.

South Kesteven and Boston also have gaps in the data.

In northern Lincolnshire, BA.4 is reportedly still the dominant strain.

Lincolnshire had 1,565 cases in the most recent week with data – an extra 450 on the week before.

The county’s overall case rate has risen to 204 per 100,000 residents, which is below the peaks seen in the winter but still higher than recent months.

A chart showing infection rates and new cases of coronavirus up to June 28, including the most recent increase in cases.

Both BA.4 and BA.5 have been designated variants of concern by the UK Health Security Agency.

They are the latest version of the Omicron variant which become widespread last winter.

Experts have said that they don’t seem to be more dangerous than previous strains, but could potentially spread easier.

Booster jabs are still available for those who haven’t had them, as well as first and second vaccines.

People have been urged to take up the opportunity if they haven’t already.

Rebecca Neno, Director of Covid and Influenza Vaccination Programmes at NHS Lincolnshire CCG said: “We know that getting vaccinated is the best way to gain maximum protection from Covid and that the vaccination programme has helped prevent thousands of people from being seriously ill and hospitalised with Covid,” explains.

“We also know that protection from the vaccination will wane over time, which is why it is vital to get all of the Covid vaccinations you are eligible for.  So, for example, if you are 75 or older, or aged 12 or over and immunosuppressed, you should be coming forwards to have your spring booster if you’ve not already had it.”

To find a vaccination centre in your area, visit https://lincolnshire.icb.nhs.uk/grab-a-jab/.