Updated: March 7, 2021
COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has killed more than 300,000 people in the United States, according to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University.
The grim milestone comes the same day the first shots of coronavirus vaccine are being administered in the United States, the first step to ending the country’s biggest health emergency in more than 100 years.
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The vaccine will make a big difference, health experts say, but it will take several more months before the general public can be vaccinated in the second quarter of next year. About 70 percent of Americans would need to vaccinated to end the virus in the country.
The number of new cases has skyrocketed in recent weeks, with a daily average of 200,000 infections.
More than 16 million people in America have also contracted the virus with tens of thousands of people currently hospitalized, and thousands on ventilator in ICUs.
Health experts have projected that tens of thousands of people will still die between now and the end of January before things begin to get better in the United States as more people take the vaccine.
In the past one week, more than 2000 people have died every day from the virus, with more than 3000 people dying from the disease each day for two days.
The vaccine represents some hope, but health experts say using of face masks and social distancing would need to be in place until more people get the vaccine.