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Coronavirus live updates: US sees record death total

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Ovidiu Dugulan/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR and ERIN SCHUMAKER, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 86.1 million people worldwide and killed over 1.8 million of them, 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:

Jan 06, 8:33 am
Surgeon general promises vaccine rollout is ‘ramping up’

In the wake of the slower-than-expected vaccine distribution, Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams told ABC News’ Good Morning America Wednesday, “we are quickly ramping up.”

Operation Warp Speed promised 20 million vaccines by the end of 2020. As of Tuesday morning, 4.8 million had been vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We’re now approaching 500,000 vaccinations per day,” Adams said, highlighting the increase in priority groups and locations where the vaccine is offered.

“We’re going to make sure we’re putting vaccines and supplies where the demand actually is. And you’re going to continue to see these rates ramp up,” Adams said. “It is by no means as good as we would want it to be, but I want the American people to keep this in perspective: most difficult vaccine rollout in history. It’s ramping up and you’ll see things rapidly increase over the next couple of weeks.”

Jan 06, 7:44 am
EU medical agency recommends emergency use authorization for Moderna vaccine

The European Medicines Agency has recommended granting a conditional marketing authorization for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for people who are at least 18 years old.

This is the second vaccine the EMA has recommended for authorization. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was approved by the EU in December.

The EMA cited a large clinical trial, involving around 30,000 people, that showed a 94.1% efficacy rate.

“This vaccine provides us with another tool to overcome the current emergency,” said Emer Cooke, executive director of EMA. “It is a testament to the efforts and commitment of all involved that we have this second positive vaccine recommendation just short of a year since the pandemic was declared by WHO.”

The European Commission must give final approval of the conditional marketing authorization in order for the vaccine to be distributed, but that appears to be a formality.

Jan 06, 7:24 am
US sees record death total Tuesday

The U.S. recorded it’s deadliest day since the start of the pandemic on Tuesday, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

There were 3,775 deaths reported — the previous record was on Dec. 30 when 3,744 deaths were reported.

It should be noted that the holidays have impacted data being reported and are expected to continue to be skewed over the coming days.

The U.S. now has 375,385 deaths related to COVID-19.

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