AUSTIN (KXAN) — In the five-state region Texas sits in, sublineages of the omicron variant, BA.4 and BA.5, are starting to become more prominent than other strains of omicron, according to Centers of Disease Control data.

As of the latest numbers, BA.5 makes up about 20% of cases in the region. BA.4 makes up an additional 11.3%, the data shows.

“At the moment, there are different omicron subvariants competing with each other and we have new, more aggressive variants, BA.4 and BA.5, that are starting to gain ground. We expect that the transmissibility of the virus as a whole will increase because these variants can escape prior immunity,” said Anass Bouchnita, a postdoctoral fellow with the University of Texas at Austin COVID-19 Modeling Consortium.

He noted that because it’s been four or five months since the first omicron wave, and so many people got infected, people may be losing immunity now.

“I think it’s very important for people to be boosted, and of course, we shouldn’t forget the other arsenal that we have,” he said.