PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With the omicron subvariant BA.5 making up the majority of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S., the CDC is concerned with its high rate of transmission and its ability to infect those who are fully vaccinated.

Scientists are now working on a vaccine to specifically target the new variant.

Dr. William Messer, an immunologist at Oregon Health and Science University, said as the virus has evolved, so has our immune systems. And it’s done so in a way that our antibodies do not recognize newer variants of COVID the way they recognized earlier strains.

This leaves the question, is COVID mutating faster than our ability to develop vaccines?

“I think the most important question is whether or not we can stay close enough to the virus, even though we know we’re behind it, to still be able to make vaccines that are going to be relatively effective against the changes that the virus is going to make, knowing full well that we can’t yet accurately predict what those changes are going to be,” said Dr. Messer.

Despite seeing a surge of cases right now, Dr. Messer said it’s unclear if there will be one in the fall.