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Biden encourages vaccination, urges against panic as omicron cases grow


President Joe Biden sought to reassure Americans on Monday as more cases of the new coronavirus variant known as omicron popped up around the world.

Biden, in remarks from the White House, stressed that Americans should use caution regarding the new variant, which has not been detected in the United States, but not panic.

And he promised to fight the new variant by encouraging wider vaccination against the coronavirus instead of lockdowns and more restrictive measures.

However, Kamal Singh a molecular biologist for Molecular Interactions Core at MU said, "Having this many mutations... I'm not sure how effective the vaccination will be"

Experts say there are just too many mutations in the new variant to tell if people vaccinated will be protected against Omicron.

"I can see how well vaccines protect and how they may not protect. I won't be surprised if there is another surge of infections", Singh said.

Initial data from Africa shows people in their 20's and 30's coming in with moderate to severe symptoms.

MU says 35 percent of its students have voluntarily reported they are vaccinated.

Issac Rhode an MU student says it's disappointing another variant is threatening the community.

"You think it's gone and then all of a sudden it's back... something else is back", Rhode said.

Another student at MU Payton Blanchard, says he's worried that if there is a variant surge in the US we'll lose the sense of normalcy people slowly regained.

"It's like my high school senior year was definitely messed up because of COVID and like even now there's a lot of stuff that I want to do that I can't really do because of COVID like concerts. So like I hope that people take this more seriously now than they did COVID in the beginning. So we don't end up in the same situation". Blanchard said.

According to the World Health Organization, evidence suggests there may be a higher risk of reinfection with the omicron variant, meaning people who've previously had COVID-19 be reinfected by omicron.

Scientists are still trying to find out if vaccines will stop the omicron variant. However, the U.S. and other health officials have stressed that vaccination is still the best protection against coronavirus.

Missouri vaccination rates lag behind the rates for the country as a whole. About 60% of people in Boone County have initiated a vaccination and 53.1% completed vaccination, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Nearly 6.5 million first and second doses have been administered in Missouri and more than 600,000 people have received a booster shot.

The World Health Organization warned people on Monday that the omicron variant risks were very high. Researchers in South Africa identified the variant last week, sparking travel restrictions in Europe and the U.S. Scotland and Portugal have identified the new variant and Japan, Morocco and Israel have banned all foreign travelers.

The World Health Organization is urging nations to increase surveillance testing and vaccinations.

Check back and watch ABC 17 News at 5 and 6 for more on this developing story.

Kennedy Miller



  1. “And he promised to fight the new variant by encouraging wider vaccination against the coronavirus” Even though evidence continues to mount that the “vaccines” already don’t work against existing COVID? Never mind no one has died from it since Omicron appeared a couple of weeks ago

    1. Doctors treating it in South Africa say symptoms are quite mild. “The World Health Organization warned people on Monday that the omicron variant risks were very high. Risk of what?

      1. actually , as usual, the opposite is true. The COVID vaccines are very safe and very effective so far , there is concern that new variants may be more resistant to vaccine related antibodies however we need more time to see how effective vaccine induced existing immunityis against new variants

  2. The people carrying the new variant to other countries, doing international travel, are all fully vaccinated. The vaccine is not preventing the spread of this new variant. The CDC has no record of anyone with natural immunity infecting another person after recovering from COVID. Which is better: vaccine or natural immunity?

    During the campaign Biden said Trump should not be President because so many Americans died of COVID under Trump’s watch. More have now died under Biden’s watch, even with the vaccine. When is Biden going to resign?

    1. this is just none sense, all of it , first of all, yes you can become infected with COVID if you have been vaccinated ( the chances of that thus far are 7 times higher if you are not vaccinated) and yes you can die from COVID even if you are vaccinated. (the chances are between 11 and 18 xtimes higher if you are unvaccinated depending on which vaccine you are comparing with unvaccinated cohort). The new variant may or may not be more contagious and or more pathogenic , we just don’t know yet.

    2. Also there are multiple studies looking at people who have been infected “naturally” and studies comparing the risk of infection in vaccinated versus previously infected people. the data suggests the risk of reinfection is about twice as high in the previously infected vs vaccinated arms of these trials.

      1. Well, except for that pesky research in Israel that shows natural immunity 13 times better than the vaccine. Multiple studies? Funded by Pharma and/or its agents?

  3. I know liberalism is a mental disease and people who only listen to main stream media may not be able to consider other viewpoints, no matter how scientifically accurate, but here you go:

    Virologist professor from Imperial College London suggests virus was engineered:
    Futures Tumble Amid Sudden Fears Over “Dramatically” New Covid Strain With “Extremely High Number” Of Mutations | ZeroHedge

    CDC has no record of people with natural immunity transmitting COVID:
    CDC: No Record of Naturally Immune Transmitting COVID-19 – The Thinking Conservative

    Multiple studies showing natural immunity is best (I picked this source for its unquestioned accuracy and high stature among journalists everywhere)
    Natural Immunity & Covid-19: Twenty-Nine Scientific Studies to Share with Employers, Health Officials, and Politicians (

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