PGC SARS-CoV-2 Bulletin No. 8: Detection of the first 500 SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant in the Philippines

This variant, with its more than 30 mutations in the Spike region is hypothesized to be over twice as infectious and twice more likely to escape current vaccines than the Delta variant. Currently, Omicron consists of four (4) phylogenetic lineages: the main lineage B.1.1.529 and its three (3) sublineages: BA.1, BA.2, and BA.3. Based on global statistics, BA.1 is the predominant Omicron lineage being detected worldwide, but a recent increase in the proportion of BA.2 cases has also been observed.