Joe Biden warned that the Omicron variant "is going to spread much more quickly."
The new strain, which could become dominant in a couple of months, raises concern among world leaders. As a result, the president called for vaccinations, and the White House ruled out travel restrictions for the time being.
US President Joe Biden warned on Thursday that the omicron coronavirus variant "will spread much more rapidly" in the United States and urged the population to get vaccinated or receive the booster dose.
"The only real protection is getting the injection," he said, predicting "a winter of severe illness and death" for the unvaccinated.
Biden gathered reporters at the end of a meeting on the pandemic to send a message directly to Americans.
He emphasized the importance of vaccinated people receiving a booster. Those who have not yet been vaccinated receive their first dose.
Shortly before, Deputy White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre had suggested that the administration did not intend to take specific restrictive measures just yet and would focus instead on vaccination.
"The tools that we have, we know that they are working," he said, adding: "We are simply going to continue advancing to vaccinate and reinforce the Americans."
The health ministers of the G7 countries called on Thursday for international cooperation against the omicron variant, which they called the "greatest current threat to world public health."
The health ministers of the great G7 powers "reiterated their commitment" to the promises of the G7 and the G20 to "fight the ongoing pandemic and build defenses for the future." They stressed that "working together is crucial in the face of the rapidly growing wave of omicron."
They highlighted the importance of "equitable access to diagnostics, genome sequencing," and vaccines and treatments.
Regarding vaccines, they insisted on the importance of reinforcement campaigns, "regular tests," as well as "non-pharmaceutical" measures.
The outbreak linked to the new variant has spread globally, and more European countries are implementing travel restrictions.
The United States, the most affected country globally, currently has an average of 1,150 deaths from covid-19 per day, according to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Meanwhile, the forecasts for Omicron are not encouraging. The variant could become world dominant within a couple of months and displace the delta variant, the chief executive of Airifnity, a scientific information analysis company, Ramus Bech Hansen, said on Thursday.
" Ómicron is going very fast and has become the dominant variant in some countries, especially South Africa. We expect it to become dominant in the UK and other countries in the next week or months. It is not difficult to see a situation in which Omicron will become prevalent throughout the world in the next two months, given that it has already been detected in 82 countries, "he said.