Joe Biden US president is urging Americans to be vaccinated in the wake of worldwide worry over a new strain that the WHO has labeled as posing a “very high” risk.
Despite widespread concern over the new Omicron coronavirus variant, Joe Biden has advised Americans to receive COVID-19 vaccines. However, the US president says the strain should be considered a “cause for concern, not a cause for panic.”
Biden said senior US health officials are speaking with key vaccine makers and preparing for possible adjustments to account for Omicron’s mutations in remarks delivered at the White House on Monday.
However, he emphasized that the US was in a good position to curb Omicron’s potential spread without resorting to lockdowns or more travel bans for the time being — in addition to the restrictions already imposed on eight southern African countries.
He stated, “This variety is a cause for concern, not panic.” “Get your booster if you’ve already been vaccinated but are concerned about the new version. Get vaccinated if you haven’t already. “Go get that first shot,” says the narrator.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s main medical adviser, believes that current immunizations will protect against the new variety, with boosters improving protection. “Rather than panic and confusion, we’ll attack this variety with scientific and knowledgeable actions and speed,” he stated.
According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US recently expanded its prescription for booster vaccines to all adults, although an estimated 47 million individuals in the US have not yet been vaccinated (CDC).
Travel into the United States from South Africa and seven other African countries was banned on Monday, as countries around the world enacted travel restrictions over the past several days in response to Omicron worries.
On Monday, Biden stated, “The objective of the [travel] restriction is to allow us time to get people vaccinated.”
Although no cases of the Omicron form have been documented in the United States so far, Fauci has warned that the virus is most likely already present.
Fauci stated on ABC’s Good Morning America that scientists aim to know in the next week or two how well existing COVID-19 vaccinations protect against the variant, as well as how harmful it is in comparison to prior strains.
“We truly don’t know,” added Fauci, dismissing conjecture as “premature.”
People infected with the new strain so far appear to have “quite modest symptoms,” according to Dr Angelique Coetzee of the South African Medical Association, who first diagnosed Omicron in South Africa this month.
More than ten nations have tested positive for the Omicron variety, including Canada, Australia, Portugal, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Mozambique.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday that the worldwide risk of Omicron spreading was “extremely high,” and encouraged 194 member countries to expedite immunizations to high-risk groups.
According to the WHO, no Omicron-related deaths have been documented, but more research is needed to determine whether it has the potential to overcome immunity produced by vaccines and previous infections.
“Omicron has an extraordinary amount of spike mutations,” the report noted, “some of which are worrying for their possible implications on the pandemic’s course.”
The Omicron form is “extremely transmissible” and demands “immediate action,” according to a joint statement from the Group of Seven (G7) health ministers.
The ministers complimented South Africa for finding the variation while pushing the WHO to build an international pathogen surveillance network.
Some regard the rise of the Omicron variety as confirming earlier predictions that unrestrained viral propagation in regions with limited vaccine access would result in mutations and deadly new variations.
“The global response’s inequality has now come home to roost,” Richard Hatchett, CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, told a gathering of health ministers at the World Health Organization in Geneva.