"I think the vaccine is imperative," the woman, whose name is Raana Bell, said, while calling for there to be more transparency regarding the shots.
"This virus continues to mutate and adapt, and we cannot let down our guard," said Santa Clara County health officer Sara Cody.
"If we can get the overwhelming majority of the population vaccinated, we'd be in very good shape," Fauci said.
"It's definitely home-grown and widespread," said researcher Keith Gagnon from Southern Illinois University.
The study took place in Israel, which is currently leading the world in terms of vaccinating its population.
"We fear this mutation might have an impact, and what we don't know is the extent of the impact," said researcher Penny Moore.
Among those who have received their first dose are nearly 700,000 high-risk people in long-term care facilities.
Scientists say it is currently unclear whether or not the new variant is more transmissible and if vaccines will be less effective against it.
Maximum protection from the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine—as well as long-lasting immunity—is only reached seven or more days after the second dose.
The variant appears to be significantly more transmissible than the original, although it does not seem to cause more severe illness.
Fauci's comments come as the U.S. reported more than 4,000 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday—a new daily record for the pandemic.
If necessary, it is "perfectly possible" to tweak existing vaccines so that they are effective against the new strain, the researcher said.
"We are not where we want to be, there's no doubt about that," Fauci said.
The WHO official's comments come as U.S. airports recorded their busiest day of the pandemic over the weekend.
Common symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, fatigue, a dry cough, body aches, shortness of breath, headache, sore throat and a runny nose.
On Tuesday, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced that a man in the state had been infected with the new variant.
"If the variant is here, I want to know, because that would be problematic," New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
The new variant could be up to 70 percent more transmissible than the original, although it does not appear to cause more severe disease.
"It is safe to be immunized after having been exposed to the virus," Moncef Slaoui said.
Vaccine providers should observe people with a history of anaphylaxis—a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction—due to any cause for 30 minutes after the individual receives the shot.
The nurse, who has a condition that often causes her to faint when she experiences pain, recovered quickly.
About 2.9 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine will be distributed across the country this week.
"Although it might seem counter-intuitive, from a research ethics viewpoint, this is a success," said researcher Diego Silva.
The French pharmaceutical giant said its vaccine candidate did not trigger a sufficient immune response in older adults.
"I think it could be even more of a challenge than what we saw with Thanksgiving," Dr. Fauci stated.
Minks are susceptible to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, with reports of infection in the animal also occurring in Denmark and the Netherlands.
Three Indian-made COVID-19 vaccines are currently at different stages of clinical trials.
China currently has five coronavirus vaccines undergoing large-scale, Phase III clinical trials.
"The speed of development for this and other vaccine candidates is testament to an extraordinary, collaborative, global research effort," said Charlie Weller from the Wellcome Trust.
The U.K.'s health secretary said the country will be ready to start vaccinating people from early next week.