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STATEWIDE-There have been new subsets of the omicron variants of coronavirus–BA.1 and BA.2–detected in more than 20 states and at least 40 countries, but not much is known about how severe they may be.

“The good news is that an initial analysis in Denmark shows us there are no differences in hospitalization for BA.2 compared with the original omicron. The message is still the same. Get your vaccine. Get your booster. That’s the best way to protect yourself against the current version of omicron and future variants that may arise,” said Dr. Jerome Adams, former Indiana State Health Commissioner and U.S. Surgeon General, in an interview with WISH-TV.

These are often referred to as “stealth” variants because they can be hard to detect. There has been a decrease lately in coronavirus hospitalizations in Indiana, but new cases and the state’s total positivity rate increased.

“Hey, my fingers are crossed. It looks like we’re coming back down. That is good news. That’s good news. But here’s the concern: Cases come down usually about 2-3 weeks before hospitalizations and deaths. So we’re still going to continue to see hospital capacity taxed. We’re still going to unfortunately see people passing away. We need to continue to take precautions because we also don’t know what we don’t know about this new BA.2 variant,” said Adams.

Many Americans don’t believe the pandemic will end anytime soon. Adams thinks that won’t happen for a while.

“Many of us are hopeful that omicron being so contagious will mean that between the people who are getting vaccinated and boosted and the people who’ve been exposed to omicron, we may all have a baseline level of immunity that lowers the virus to a steady state. But every time we’ve thought that before, we see a new surge coming back against us again. So I think we’re going to be here for a while, but we’ve got the tools to live with it, which is something we always talk about,” said Adams.

He believes we will be living with this for years because until we get the rest of the world vaccinated,”then the virus will pop up in South Africa, China, England or somewhere else and then people will bring it back here.”

You can watch the full interview here