New COVID variant spikes cases across US, newest vaccines expected in fall

More than three years after the pandemic started, Lolitta Martirosyan just recently contracted COVID-19 for the first time a few weeks ago. 

For her treatment, she took Paxlovid and isolated from her husband. And she's not the only one. Chances are you know someone yourself. 

As of Aug. 12, there are 330 people currently hospitalized with COVID in Los Angeles County, according to the latest data from the Department of Public Health — a 49% increase from four weeks ago.

Martirosyan owns a hair salon, and with her recent battle with COVID, put her clients' needs on hold until she was healthy again. Now, armed with a negative COVID test, she's back at work.

To Dr. Suman Radhakrishna, an infectious disease specialist with Dignity Health, the relative spike in COVID cases isn't a surprise. Radhakrishna said there tends to be a pattern to when people tend to get COVID.

SUGGESTED: COVID 'patient zero' reunites with hospital staff 3 years later

A new variant has emerged as the dominant one across the U.S., including California, called EG.5. The World Health Organization labeled EG.5 a "Variant of Interest" earlier this month. More people travel over the summer, some with fewer precautions. Add in a waning immunity, and that leads to more cases.

So that begs the question, when will the next COVID vaccines be available? Radhakrishna told FOX 11 the newest round of vaccines aren't ready yet. It's hard to say exactly when we'll roll up our sleeves for another round of shots, but it'll likely be sometime in the fall, about the time you'd normally get your flu vaccine.