U.S. President Joe Biden said Friday that news of a new coronavirus variant, the Omicron, “should make it clear more than ever why this pandemic won’t end until we have global immunizations.” He called on world leaders to abolish intellectual property protection for COVID-19 vaccines.
The White House released a statement by US President Joe Biden on Friday regarding the detection of a new variant of the coronavirus, dubbed Omikron. In it, the American leader addressed the “world community”.
“The news of this new variant should make it clear more than ever why this pandemic will not end until we have global immunization. The United States has already donated more vaccines to countries other than all other countries combined. It is time for other countries to catch up. American speed and generosity, “he wrote.
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The US president called for the lifting of patent protection for vaccines against COVID-19
“In addition, I call on the nations gathering next week at the World Trade Organization ministerial meeting to face the US challenge of abolishing intellectual property protection for COVID vaccines so that these vaccines can be produced worldwide,” Biden appealed.
He recalled that he had already expressed this position in April, and Friday’s statement “reiterates the importance of swift action”.
Biden: If you and your children haven’t got vaccinated, it’s time
The President of the United States also called on those who have not been fully vaccinated.
“Get vaccinated today. This applies to both children and adults. America is the world leader in vaccinating children aged 5-11 – but we need more Americans of all age groups to get life-saving protection. If you haven’t been vaccinated or not. you took your children to be vaccinated, this is the time, “the statement reads.
Biden also asked Americans to take a booster dose if they could.
The president also announced that due to the emergence of the new variant, he decided to temporarily close the US borders to travelers from South Africa and seven other countries from South Africa. This travel ban is expected to enter into force on Monday.
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Omikron – a new variant of the coronavirus
A new variant of the coronavirus has been detected in South Africa. The first case of a new variant was detected in Europe on Friday. The infection was confirmed in a woman in Belgium.
During the meeting of the World Health Organization on Friday, it was decided that B.1.1.529 would be raised to the rank of “disturbing” variant. It received the name Omikron. The new variant, according to WHO, is arguably more contagious than the previous ones, and contains “a large number of mutations, some of which are worrying.” The organization also said preliminary data suggest that, compared to current strains of the coronavirus, Omikron carries a greater risk of re-infection.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / JIM LO SCALZO