The United States sets new daily records of more than 3,700 Covid-19 deaths and 250,000 new cases on Wednesday (December 16), according to Johns Hopkins University data, while hospitalizations are also at all-time high.
Wednesday’s figures mark the third time that US deaths surpassed 3,000 in a single day, driving a death toll since the start of the pandemic to at least 307,000, while the total confirmed cases top 16.9 million.
There has also been a marked rise in Covid-19 hospitalizations as more than 113,000 Americans are in hospital at a high for the 11th day in a row, according to the COVID Tracking Project. That figure has doubled in the last five weeks, and more than tripled from late September and early October.
On Monday, the first coronavirus vaccination took place in the US, 150 hospitals across the country were to receive millions of doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The first group to be given the vaccine are healthcare personnel and long-term care facility residents, thuss about 20 million people are expected to get their first shots by the end of this month.
However, the US vaccination programme targets to reach 100 million people by April.
President-elect Joe Biden is set to get the vaccine as soon as next week, as well as the Vice President Mike Pence, in an effort to boost confidence in the safety of the vaccine, said the White House.
At the same time, the US Food and Drug Administration vaccine advisers plan to endorse Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use.