Snippet from FEMERAID International Air Rescue as of 8 September 2023

The Air Rescue Team of FEMERAID International informs all our members, Knights and Dames of the Sovereign Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Knights of Malta, Federation of the Autonomous Priories (KMFAP) about the followings: 

As the number of COVID-19 cases has increased in recent weeks and the new school year has already started, many people are pondering the optimal timing for their next booster vaccination. According to FEMERAID Medical team, the concise response is to hold off for another month or two as it would yield more favourable results. Pfizer, Moderna, and Novavax are currently working on updating, testing, and mass-producing new vaccines specifically designed to target the XBB.1.5 variant. Experts predict that these vaccines will be ready for public distribution by late September or early October. In the meantime, let’s wait and strengthen our precautions. 

Pirola is expected to be the most commonly mentioned name in the Northern Hemisphere this winter, pertaining to the recently recognised BA.2.86 coronavirus variant – a newly designated variant of Omicron, which itself is a variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The World Health Organisation has classified it as a variant of great interest because its spike protein has more than three mutations, which implies that it might potentially have increased transmissibility, resulting in more severe illness and impacting the effectiveness of vaccines and treatments in comparison to other variants. Currently, the extent of vaccine coverage for BA.2.86- Pirola is uncertain. 

Due to the limited data available, it is still too early to draw any definitive conclusions about the ease of transmission and the potential impact on infected individuals. However, it is now becoming prudent to reinforce the already known preventive measures, particularly when the temperature falls below 22 degrees Celsius and the humidity rises, as this creates an ideal environment for the virus. 

FEMERAID Medical team will closely monitor the progression of this variant and its interaction with other existing variants. When appropriate, we will provide guidance to ensure a smooth winter for you and your family. 

Keep safe and healthy! 


8th September 2023