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U.S. claims lead in race to vaccinate against COVID-19

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Posted: Wednesday, December 23, 2020. 7:52 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Bloomberg says the country that leads the world in COVID-19 cases and deaths also claims to lead in the number of COVID-19 vaccine shots administered.

The United States has given 1,008,025 doses in ten days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

State-led vaccination campaigns are rolling out shots from Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. focused at first on hundreds of thousands of health-care workers around the country who have been battling the virus on the front lines in hospitals. The vaccines require two shots weeks apart to deliver the highest level of protection.

The People’s Republic of China also claims 1 million doses administered to more than 650 thousand residents, while Russia has vaccinated around 440 thousand. Both have been vaccinating since August after authorizing domestically produced vaccines before they’d been fully tested. The U.K. is also making rapid progress in delivering the shots and is expected to provide an update on its tally as soon as Wednesday afternoon.

Urgency is rising as a wave of winter infections washes over the northern hemisphere. New variants of the disease have been detected in the The U.K. and South Africa. The mutations appear to make the virus more contagious and may be increasing infections among healthy young people. In the U.S., more than 2,500 people are dying every day.

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