The Department of Health (DOH) said it is closely coordinating with the World Health Organization (WHO) to address the Omicron XE variant. 

“The DOH is in constant coordination with WHO regarding the reported ‘Omicron XE’ detected in Bangkok, Thailand,” the DOH said.

“Observation and monitoring are still ongoing on whether the variant would be categorized as a sub-variant of Omicron or a new variant to be named by WHO should it display any significant change in characteristics,” the health department added.

The WHO said that XE recombinant is a mutant of the BA.1 and the BA.2 sub-variants of Omicron.

Until “significant differences in transmission and disease characteristics, including severity, may be reported,” the WHO said that XE is from the Omicron variant. 

The DOH, on the other hand, said that along with the Philippine Genome Center it is observing case trends .

“In this light, the DOH reminds the public that vaccines, in addition to adhering to the minimum public health standards and now, more importantly, everyone, especially our elderly, the immunocompromised, those with comorbidities, and children are highly encouraged to get vaccinated and boosted,” it said. — Ronald Espartinez