The BA.2 subvariant of the Omicron coronavirus variant, which has quickly taken over in Denmark, is more transmissible than the more common BA.1 and more able to infect vaccinated people, a Danish study has found.
The study, which analysed coronavirus infections in more than 8,500 Danish households between December and January, found that people infected with the BA.2 subvariant were roughly 33% more likely to infect others, compared to those infected with BA.1.
Worldwide, the "original" BA.1 subvariant accounts for more than 98% of Omicron cases, but its close cousin BA.2 has quickly become the dominant strain in Denmark, dethroning BA.1 in the second week of January.
"We conclude that Omicron BA.2 is inherently substantially more transmissible than BA.1, and that it also possesses immune-evasive properties that further reduce the protective effect of vaccination against infection," the study's researchers said.
The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, was conducted by researchers at Statens Serum Institut (SSI), Copenhagen University, Statistics Denmark and Technical University of Denmark.