Community spread is inevitable; more jabs will play key role: US health officials

United States: With cases of the Omicron Covid-19 variant being recorded in locations ranging from New York to Hawaii, health officials in the United States have warned that community spread is unavoidable and that further immunizations will be critical in keeping the virus at bay.

The Omicron form had been found in at least five US states as of Thursday night, including New York, California, Hawaii, Minnesota, and Colorado. At least ten instances have been documented across the country, with local authorities warning that the variation has begun to spread among some areas.

According to reports, US President Joe Biden is addressing the alarming new variant with a strategy that encourages booster shots for all people and intends to enhance testing availability and cost. The plans were outlined in a speech given by the National Institutes of Health on Thursday.

In the wake of the verified Omicron cases, New York Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Bill de Blasio urged residents not to worry and advised booster vaccinations for those who are eligible. They claimed it was too early to tell how serious a threat the variant could be to the state.

Takeshi Kasai, the WHO's Western Pacific director, told a press conference on Thursday that vaccines are the solution, while border controls can only buy time, asking governments to properly vaccinate susceptible groups and maintain to preventive measures like mask wearing and social distancing.

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