President Joe Biden said on Monday the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 is a “cause for concern, not a cause for panic.” While health experts work to learn more about the quickly spreading strain, Biden said researchers believe that current vaccines should be adequate against the variant.
Biden also continued to advocate COVID-19 vaccinations, saying in his address: “We have the best vaccine in the world, the best medicines, best scientists, and we’re learning more every single day, and we’ll fight this variant with scientific and knowledgeable actions and speed, not chaos and confusion.” He added that the variant’s arrival confirms the importance to getting the vaccine and booster shots, saying: “I know you’re tired of hearing me say this. The best protection against this new variant or any of the variants out there, the ones we’ve been dealing with already, is getting fully vaccinated and getting a booster shot. [The vaccine is] free and they are available at 80,000 locations coast to coast. Do not wait. Go get your booster if it’s time for you to do so.”
Biden noted that if medical experts and researchers discover that a new booster is needed against the Omicron variant, the United States will be the first to act. The President said: “In the event, hopefully unlikely, that updated vaccinations or boosters are needed to respond to this new variant, we will accelerate their development and deployment with every available tool. We do not yet believe that additional measures will be needed.”
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