A variant of COVID-19 called HV.1 now accounts for 29 percent of cases in the U.S. This variant became the most dominant across the country in the middle of October, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The variant is slightly more dominant in the South, where it accounts for 31.5 percent of cases, according to the CDC. The South includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The rising dominance of the HV.1 variant doesn’t mean increased cases in Florida. According to data from the Florida Department of Health, weekly case counts from Sept. 29 to Nov. 10 show fewer people have contracted COVID-19. Cases have decreased from 7,423 at the beginning of October to 4,507 in November. The Florida Health Department doesn’t publish data on the variants of cases.
EG.5 was the variant that caused most cases during the summer and is the second most dominant. In the South, it accounts for 18.7 percent of cases, according to the CDC. In fact, HV.1 is a descendant of EG.5. Both of them are similar versions of omicron, which emerged in Florida in December 2021.
The updated COVID-19 vaccine led to a surge in the number of people vaccinated against the virus in September, which diminished in October, according to data from the state health department.
However, Florida’s vaccination data has not been updated since Oct. 23. Although the CDC and U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the updated vaccine, Florida’s Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo recommended people under 65 skip the vaccine.