COVID-19 variant found in 2nd state; Warp Speed leaders acknowledge slow vaccine rollout — 4 updates

The U.S. saw 125,220 COVID-19 hospitalizations and 3,903 COVID-19 deaths Dec. 30, both daily records, according to data from The COVID-19 Tracking Project.  

Three more updates: 

1. Operation Warp Speed leaders acknowledged Dec. 30 the slow start to the nation's COVID-19 vaccination effort, reports The New York Times. More than 14 million vaccine doses had been sent out across the U.S. as of Dec. 30, said U.S. Army Gen. Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of Operation Warp Speed, and Moncef Slaoui, PhD, chief adviser to the federal vaccine effort. However, as of Dec. 31, only 2.8 million Americans have been vaccinated, according to a CDC dashboard, though the dashboard is an underestimate of the true number because of lags in reporting. The nation is likely to miss the 2020 vaccination goal  of 20 million that federal officials previously put forward.

2. The fast-spreading COVID-19 variant was detected in California Dec. 30 in a 30-year-old man who had not traveled outside the U.S., reports The New York Times. The variant was first identified in Colorado earlier this week. Its presence in the U.S. makes it more crucial than ever that more Americans get vaccinated against the virus more quickly, scientists and epidemiologists told the Times.

3. The U.S. death toll will likely hit 383,000 to 424,000 by Jan. 23, according to a forecast the CDC published Dec. 30. The prediction is based on forecasts of national COVID-19 deaths over the next four weeks from 33 modeling groups.

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 19,745,885
Deaths: 342,414

Counts reflect data available as of 8:40 a.m. CST Dec. 31.

More articles on public health:
Number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, state by state
Biden taps 3 officials for COVID-19 response team; McConnell blocks bill for $2K stimulus checks — 7 updates
Outpatient COVID-19 visits slow in 9 regions: 4 CDC findings


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