New York officials announce the identification of 5 Omicron cases

A Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shot being administered in person's arm in Freeport, New York on November 30, 2021.

A Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine booster shot being administered in person’s arm in Freeport, New York on November 30, 2021. (Steve Pfost/Newsday/Getty Images)

President Biden continued to urge all eligible Americans to get booster shots during his remarks from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, where he outlined his administration’s Covid-19 response plan.

“We’re expanding our national booster campaign to provide booster shots to all eligible adults. Our docs and the scientists believe that people who get a booster shot are protected more than ever from Covid-19,” Biden said.

Biden said that he will provide “paid off time for federal employees” who go to get a booster shot.

“They don’t get docked their pay. I’m asking other employers in the private sector to do the same thing. Now, I don’t want you to have to choose between a paycheck and getting an additional protection for a booster shot,” Biden said.

As the fate of the administration’s vaccine requirements languish in the courts, Biden indicated that today’s announcements will “not expand or add to those mandates,” calling it “a plan that all Americans can, hopefully can rally around, and it should be — and should get bipartisan support, in my humble opinion. It should unite us, not continue to separate us.”  

Biden acknowledged the looming threat of the Omicron variant, about which little remains known, telling Americans, “I want to reiterate, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Collins believe if you’re worried about the Omicron variant, the best thing to do is get fully vaccinated and then get your booster shot when you’re when you’re eligible.”

Biden also said that the administration is preparing contingency plans for vaccines.

“We don’t yet believe that additional measures will be needed, but so that we’re prepared if needed, my team is already working with officials at Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson to develop contingency plans for other vaccines or boosters, and I’ll also direct the FDA and the CDC to use the fastest process available without cutting corners for safety to get such vaccines renewed — reviewed and renewed, reviewed and approved if they’re needed.” 

Biden outlined the steps his administration announced earlier today to expand testing, increase vaccine outreach, restrict travel and increased response capabilities, highlighting travel restrictions from South and Southern Africa while praising South Africa for moving quickly to identify the Omicron variant.

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Written by Bourbiza Mohamed

A technology enthusiast and a passionate writer in the field of information technology, cyber security, and blockchain

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