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Key takeaways from President Biden's comments on new COVID-19 variant

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Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani runs down President Biden's remarks from today on the COVID-19 Omicron variant and how vaccinations continue to be the best defense against future outbreaks.

Video Transcript

KARINA MITCHELL: As President Biden provided a public update just a short time ago about the omicron variant, as health officials braced for the first cases to be confirmed in the US, here with the key takeaways from the president's comments is Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Thanks, Karina. Yeah, as we know, there are still left-- a lot left to be known about this variant and how it's going to affect the population and whether or not the vaccines will hold up against them. So for now, the president with a message of calming and patience required as we wait over the next two weeks to get more information. Here is what he had to say.

JOE BIDEN: This variant is a cause for concern, not a cause for panic. We have the best vaccine in the world, the best medicines, the best scientists. And we're learning more every single day. And we'll fight this variant with scientific and knowledgeable actions and speed, not chaos and confusion.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: As you can hear, really looking for that calmness as we wait to get more information. As we know, this variant did get first detected in South Africa and Botswana last week. And that's where some of the concern had risen. Based on the scientific analysis of it, the mutations that this variant presents have been of concern, but nothing concrete yet and no real known issues just yet.

Just as a recap, it did, like I said, get first detected in South Africa. The severity of disease that it could cause is yet unknown. Whether or not it stands up to protection based on either immune-- from immune responses from the vaccine or from natural infection, yet unknown. So, really a lot yet unknown. Meanwhile, the president is working with vaccine makers like Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson on additional boosting as needed, as well as the companies looking at tweaking their current vaccines in order to respond to this variant. Back to you.

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