Dr. Anthony Fauci over the weekend said there’s already a lesson to be learned about the new COVID-19 variant omicron.

Fauci told NBC News’ “Meet the Press” that the omicron variant “is a clarion call ... of saying: Let’s put aside all of these differences that we have and say, if you’re not vaccinated, get vaccinated. If you’re fully vaccinated, get boosted, and get the children vaccinated also.”

  • “We now have time.”
Dr. Fauci says the omicron variant is coming to the U.S.
US issues new travel ban restrictions over omicron variant

Fauci comments come days after South Africa researchers discovered a new COVID-19 variant — which has the scientific name B.1.1.529 — that prompted worldwide fears during Thanksgiving weekend, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • Market numbers dipped as a result of the new variant. Countries across the world issued travel restrictions against those traveling from South Africa.
  • The World Health Organization classified the new COVID-19 variant Friday, calling it a variant of concern and giving it the Greek alphabet letter “omicron.”

Omicron was originally discovered in Botswana, where there were four cases among fully vaccinated people, per The Associated Press. Early cases were found in Hong Kong among travelers from South Africa.

Now, the coronavirus variant has been spreading throughout the world as more countries continue to report cases of the virus.

  • “This variant did surprise us, it has a big jump in evolution, many more mutations than we expected, especially after a very severe third wave of Delta,” said Tulio de Oliveira, director of the KwaZulu-Natal Research and Innovation Sequencing Platform, per The New York Times,