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Vaccination Nation: The story of the new omicron subvariant

Sylvester Fisher gets a  COVID-19 vaccine booster shot from pharmacist Patricia Pernal during an event hosted by the Chicago Department of Public Health at the Southwest Senior Center in Chicago, Illinois.
Sylvester Fisher gets a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot from pharmacist Patricia Pernal during an event hosted by the Chicago Department of Public Health at the Southwest Senior Center in Chicago, Illinois.

It’s a new year and a new COVID strain is taking over in the U.S. An omicron subvariant called XBB.1.5 now accounts for 40 percent of cases according to the CDC. That’s up from 20 percent just last week.

Health experts worry this strain may be better at circumventing the antibodies from COVID vaccines and prior infections.

And most Americans aren’t as protected as they could be. According to NPR, only 15 percent of people have received the newest booster shot.

These low numbers could make masking even more important—another precaution many Americans have stopped taking.

In the first vaccination nation of 2023, we answer your questions.

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