Watch President Biden deliver comments on Omicron, the new COVID-19 variant in the player above.
WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) – The United States began restricting travel to at least eight African countries on Monday as the omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread globally.
It’s not clear where the new variant first appeared, but scientists in South Africa alerted the World Health Organization, and it has now been seen in visitors to several countries, from Australia to Israel to the Netherlands.
President Joe Biden met with his COVID-19 response team on Sunday as the White House urged Americans to get a booster shot. The nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told Biden it would take another two weeks to find out how transmissible and how severe the omicron variant was.
This comes later Fauci said he wouldn’t be surprised if the omicron . variant was in the United States.
“We haven’t detected it yet, but when you have a virus that is showing this level of transmission and you’ve had the travel-related cases they’ve documented in Israel and Belgium and those elsewhere, when you have a virus like Fauci said.
“We don’t know much about the variant except that it’s very popular and it seems to be going viral,” Biden told reporters Sunday.
Both Pfizer and Moderna said they are monitoring this variant and expect more information on the effectiveness of the current vaccine in the coming weeks.
Pfizer said it can adapt its vaccine to be more effective against this variant “within six weeks and ship initial batches within 100 days” if needed.
Moderna’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton told the BBC on Sunday that the vaccine maker could introduce an improved vaccine against the omicron variant next year.
“We should know about the protective potential of the current vaccine in the next few weeks, but what’s remarkable about the Moderna-based mRNA vaccine is that we can develop it very quickly,” Burton said.
This story is evolving. Refresh to update.
https://kdvr.com/news/nationalworld-news/watch-live-president-biden-provides-an-update-about-omicron-the-new-covid-19-variant/ President Biden provides updates on Omicron, the new COVID-19 variant