By MORGAN WINSOR, IVAN PEREIRA, ERIN SCHUMAKER and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 73.2 million people and killed over 1.6 million worldwide, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.
Here’s how the news is developing Wednesday. All times Eastern:
Dec 16, 5:50 am
UK vaccinates over 137,000 people against COVID-19 in seven days
There were 137,897 people who were vaccinated against COVID-19 across the United Kingdom in the first seven days of the country’s mass immunization program, according to Nadhim Zahawi, the U.K. minister in charge of the vaccine rollout.
Zahawi said 108,000 people were administered the vaccine in England, 7,897 in Wales, 4,000 in Northern Ireland and 18,000 in Scotland.
“A really good start to the vaccination program,” Zahawi wrote on his official Twitter account Tuesday morning. “That number will increase as we have operationalised hundreds of PCN (primary care networks).”
On Dec. 2, the United Kingdom became the first Western country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, granting emergency-use authorization to one developed by U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech. The U.K. government launched a mass immunization program just six days later, administering the shot to people over the age of 80 and front-line health workers.
Dec 16, 4:18 am
US reports over 198,000 new cases
There were 198,357 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in the United States on Tuesday, according to a real-time count kept by Johns Hopkins University.
It’s the 43rd straight day that the U.S. has reported over 100,000 newly diagnosed infections. Tuesday’s tally is down from the country’s all-time high of 231,775 new cases confirmed on Dec. 11, according to Johns Hopkins data.
An additional 3,019 deaths from the disease were also registered nationwide on Tuesday, just under a peak of 3,300 fatalities on Dec. 11, according to Johns Hopkins data.
A total of 16,724,772 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 303,849 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins data. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.
Much of the country was under lockdown by the end of March as the first wave of pandemic hit. By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up over the summer.
The numbers lingered around 40,000 to 50,000 from mid-August through early October before surging again to record levels, crossing 100,000 for the first time on Nov. 4 and reaching 200,000 for the first time on Nov. 27.
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