More than 10 million Americans received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as the year-long pandemic roared out of control.
The United States hit 10.2 million vaccines a day after the CDC and the Trump administration gave new guidance to US states on who should get the vaccines first. Strict rules putting healthcare workers on the front lines had slowed the rollout. States are now urged to also vaccinate anyone over 65.
The milestone came as the United States set a new one-day coronavirus death record, with 4,336 deaths on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally.
Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on Tuesday the administration was releasing its full stock of two vaccines approved for emergency use, some of which had been kept in reserve to ensure second doses could be administered on time.
Nearly 30 million doses of vaccines, manufactured by Moderna and Pfizer with its German partner BioNTech, have been distributed to US states, which have used only about a third.
Johnson & Johnson said on Wednesday the pharmaceutical company was on track to roll out its single-injection vaccine in March
In an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, Dr Paul Stoffels also said that J&J expected to meet its stated goal of delivering 1 billion doses of its vaccine by the end of this year, as the company ramps up production. .
Political leaders and health officials across the country have scrambled in recent days to release more vaccines to their residents, many lowering the required age to 65. California and New York both pledged to vaccinate one million residents this month.
NEW YORK SEEKS MORE VACCINE
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, said on Wednesday that vaccine shortages could hamper efforts to meet the city’s immunization targets.
“We need the federal government, the state government and the manufacturers to step up their efforts and immediately provide us with more supplies,” de Blasio said at a press conference.
The country’s most populous city is adding vaccination sites in its five boroughs, including its two Major League Baseball stadiums.
“I confirmed to our healthcare team yesterday that even with normal supplies that we plan to deliver next week, we will run out of vaccine at some point next week, unless we get a major new replenishment.” said de Blasio.
Public health officials say so far no US state has run out of vaccine supplies.
At the Javits Center in Manhattan, which went into operation as a temporary hospital in April, health officials said they were ready to vaccinate 10,000 people in 12 hours, with the option of increasing to 25,000 in 24 hours.
New York has recorded nearly 40,000 coronavirus deaths since the pandemic erupted there in March, more than any other state in the United States.
Across the country, more than 380,000 people have died from COVID-19. A total of 22.7 million of them were infected during this period.
The number of COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization may have stabilized at least temporarily, according to a Reuters tally, although public health officials have warned that a new spread could still be seen at rallies of holidays.
California, the country’s most populous state, has seen new hospitalizations drop this week, according to health officials. To date, more than 30,000 Californians have died from an illness linked to COVID-19.
The recent emergence of a more infectious variant of the virus first seen in the UK has made efforts to speed up vaccinations all the more important. The so-called British variant has so far been confirmed in at least 10 US states.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by The Bharat Express News staff and is posted Platforms.)