The president said the best way to be protected was through vaccination and booster
WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – In a nationwide address on the emerging omicron variant of COVID-19, President Joe Biden said health officials do not believe new vaccines are needed. But, he said, the government is starting to plan for it, just in case.
“The variant is a cause for concern,” Biden said Monday morning, “not a cause for panic.”
He added that we already know the best way for people to protect themselves – “get fully immunized and get a booster”.
Because part of the population remains unvaccinated, the virus continues to spread and mutate into new variants. Health officials have said current vaccines and boosters provide some protection against the new variant, but plans are already underway in case that protection is not enough.
“My team is already working with officials from Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson to develop contingency plans for vaccines or boosters if needed,” Biden said.
Even though the omicron variant has been detected in other parts of the world, White House press secretary Jen Psai said that at this time, the United States is only banning travel from 8 Southern African countries.
“It’s a much bigger spread in South Africa than it is, at this point, in Europe and other countries,” Psaki said. “We will continue to assess whether there are any additional restrictions that need to be put in place.”
This travel ban does not apply to US citizens or permanent residents returning from these southern African countries.
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