Nov 10, 2023

By Jane Brown

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A new COVID-19 variant has been steadily gaining momentum in Canada, recently overtaking its fast-spreading predecessor to become the leading form of the virus in many parts of the country.

The new variant is called HV.1 and is showing significant growth in most provinces, including in Ontario, where it’s estimated to make up nearly half of all cases.

HV.1 is a descendant of the Omicron XBB family.

According to experts, the latest COVID vaccine targeting XBB.1.5 is well-matched to offer protection against this newest COVID offshoot.

Dr. Sarah Otto, a professor at the University of British Columbia and researcher with Canada’s Coronavirus Rapid Response Network, says “since this new variant is still in the XBB family, it’s all the more reason to go out and get that vaccine.”

Across the country, the number of people testing positive for COVID has increased since early July, though the latest statement from the Public Health Agency of Canada says “some provinces and territories are showing early signs of levelling off or decreasing.”

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