(Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday estimated that nearly 13% of the circulating coronavirus variants in the United States were of the BA.4.6 subvariant of Omicron, as of the week ended Oct. 1.
The latest data showed BA.4.6, which has been slowly rising in the last few weeks, made up nearly 22% of the cases in the region that includes the states of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.
In the week ended Oct. 1, the BA.4.6 subvariant made up 12.8% of total COVID cases in the U.S., compared with the 11.9% reported for the week ended Sept. 24.
Omicron subvariants BA.5 and BA.4 were estimated to make up 81.3% and 1.1%, respectively, of the circulating variants in the U.S., the data showed.
The United States has begun a new COVID vaccination campaign with Omicron-tailored boosters from Pfizer/BioNtech and Moderna, which are likely to be effective against the BA.4.6 subvariant as well.
As of Sept. 28, 7.6 million Americans had received the updated boosters, which represents only 3.5% of the 215.5 million people aged 12 or older who are eligible to receive the shots as they have completed their primary vaccination series.
(Reporting by Bhanvi Satija in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)