Great, There’s Another COVID Variant and Its Name Is Centaurus

Do we all have variant fatigue at this point? Where another version of COVID drops, and we all let out a silent internal scream? A reprieve from this vital information would be nice, aye. But unfortunately, COVID doesn’t care. As long as vaccines aren’t getting into the arms of disadvantaged folks of developing nations and dangerous anti-vaxxers, COVID is going to have an easier time changing and changing and changing.

So, with this in mind, there’s another variant that the experts are concerned about. Here’s what we know so far:

BA.2.75 is the New Black

The Omicron subvariant BA.2.75, otherwise known as Centaurus, is a different sort of beast. This is because it features a lot of mutations that make it somewhat unlike the classic flavour of COVID. As Monash University’s Dr Michael Lydeamore told The Sydney Morning Herald, “Centaurus has the BA.2 mutations and then a few extra again, so it’s a kind of sub-subvariant.”

Centaurus has been detected in the US, the UK, Canada, Germany, and even here in Australia. According to Lydeamore, it’s currently unclear whether or not this version of COVID will be better at evading our vaccines, can make us more unwell, or is a more transmissible version.

Will COVID Ever End?

You know, it’s unlikely to ever go away at this point. However, there is still hope that this dumpster fire can be contained. Multiple pharmaceutical companies have been whipping up new COVID vaccines that are designed to be more effective at stopping Omicron’s variants. For instance, Moderna has two new vaccines they’re hoping will be approved by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration. One is an Omicron-specific vaccine, while the other one will target both Omicron and the original nasties. These vaccines could be released in Australia before 2022 is over.

Why is BA.2.75 Called Centaurus?

On July 2, a dude named Xabier Ostale tweeted a joke which said, “I have just named BA.2.75 variant after a galaxy. Its new name is Centaurus… Get used to it. Today, I’m in command of anything pandemic.” And, oddly enough, it just stuck. What a planet, am I right?

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.