Skip to Content

New COVID variant, possible summer surge? Experts urge El Paso community to get vaccinated

EL PASO, TX (KVIA) -- A new COVID-19 variant, known as the "FLiRT" variant or KP.2, is spreading throughout the United States, and experts say this may lead to a potential summer surge. Despite these concerns, experts say that the latest, updated vaccines have shown to be effective against this variant.

Daniel Acosta, director of Immunize El Paso, urges residents who have not yet received the most recent vaccine update to do so immediately, “Right now, we need everyone to be involved. Especially those who were a candidate to receive the the updated vaccine when it came out in October of 2023,” Acosta told ABC7. He says those who are 65 years and older or are immunocompromised should get the second dose of the updated vaccine as soon as possible.

Acosta notes that COVID-19 cases in El Paso are not an immediate cause of concern right now, however taking precaution is crucial. The “FLiRT” variant is now the leading variant in the U.S, in mid-March, it accounted for just 1% of cases, but it now makes up for over 25%. Experts say with summer and travel season approaching, we can potentially see an increase in cases.   

The flirt variant does not seem to cause more severe illness compared to other variants. Acosta remids us the symptoms we should look out for, “Sore throat, runny nose, coughing, headaches, body aches, fever, congestion, fatigue and severe cases, shortness of breath. But we are seeing that fewer people are losing their sense of taste and smell.”

Health experts warn it may take several weeks to determine whether this new variant will lead to a summer surge. 

Immunize El Paso takes walk-in appointments or you can also call (915) 533-3414 to make an appointment in advance.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Isabella Martinez


KVIA ABC 7 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content