The Covid variant was first identified in South Africa.
The first cases of a new COVID-19 variant of concern have been confirmed in Ireland
The BA.4 and BA.5 variants are a sub-variant of Omicron and were first detected internationally in February.
A leading immunologist says he's not "hugely concerned" about the spread of it, however.
Professor Kingston Mills at Trinity College Dublin says it's unlikely to cause a major surge in cases here.
The first cases of a new COVID-19 variant of concern have been confirmed in Irelandhttps://t.co/lodErP8yeO
— Today FM 💛 (@TodayFM) May 23, 2022
"I don't think we have to be hugely concerned," Professor Mills said.
"It is different somewhat from Omicron and BA2 in that it has mutated further."
"The good news is the vaccines will still prevent severe diseases with this and other variants."
"The cases have come down significantly in Ireland over the last few weeks and month," he added.