Biden: Omicron variant of concern not of panic

President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday advised Americans to get vaccinated or get their booster shots, saying the Omicron Variant of COVID-19 is not a variant of panic.

The World Health Organisation had labelled the variant one of concern.

In an address at the White House, Biden tried to allay fears over the new variant.

‘You have to get your vaccine. You have to get the shot. You have to get the booster,’ Biden said.

‘Sooner or later we’re going to see new cases of this variant here in the United States,’ Biden said.

As he spoke, his adviser on infections disease, Dr. Anthony Fauci stood behind him while wearing a mask.

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Earlier Fauci had said the U.S. is unlikely to impose further restrictions amid the anticipated arrival of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

Fauci spoke as a travel ban on some southern African nations went into effect.

Fauci said while officials were bracing for the first confirmed U.S. case of the variant, vaccines remained a top tool to blunt its impact.

Asked if other curbs were imminent, Fauci told ABC News’ “Good Morning America” program: “I don’t think so at all.”

Much of the United States shut down in early 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic, and other measures such as face masks and vaccine mandates have become politically contentious even as health experts tout their effectiveness.

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