ABSTRACTEarly data indicated that infection with Omicron BA.1 sub-lineage was associated with a lower risk of hospitalisation and severe illness, compared to Delta infection. Recently, the BA.2 sub-lineage has increased in many areas globally. We aimed to assess the severity of BA.2 infections compared to BA.1 in South Africa. We performed data linkages for (i) national COVID-19 case data, (ii) SARS-CoV-2 laboratory test data, and (iii) COVID-19 hospitalisations data, nationally. For cases identified using TaqPath COVID-19 PCR, infections were designated as S-gene target failure (SGTF, proxy for BA.1) or S-gene positive (proxy for BA.2). Disease severity was assessed using multivariable logistic regression models comparing individuals with S-gene positive infection to SGTF-infected individuals diagnosed between 1 December 2021 to 20 January 2022. From week 49 (starting 5 December 2021) through week 4 (ending 29 January 2022), the proportion of S-gene positive infections increased from 3% (931/31,271) to 80% (2,425/3,031). The odds of being admitted to hospital did not differ between individuals with S-gene positive (BA.2 proxy) infection compared to SGTF (BA.1 proxy) infection (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0.96, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.85-1.09). Among hospitalised individuals, after controlling for factors associated with severe disease, the odds of severe disease did not differ for individuals with S-gene positive infection compared to SGTF infection (aOR 0.91, 95%CI 0.68-1.22). These data suggest that while BA.2 may have a competitive advantage over BA.1 in some settings, the clinical profile of illness remains similar.