Lab data suggests new COVID booster will protect against worrisome variant

“It is reassuring,” says Dr. Dan Barouch, who conducted one of the studies at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

When it was first spotted, BA.2.86 set off alarm bells. It contains more than 30 mutations on the spike protein the virus uses to infect cells. That’s a level of mutation on par with the original Omicron variant, which caused a massive surge.

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