U.S. sets new record in single-day COVID-19 cases as CDC advisors vote to recommend vaccine
The United States reported over 244,000 new COVID-19 cases in a single day on Friday, setting a gloomy new record as the country is preparing distribution of the first COVID-19 vaccine to states.
A total of 244,011 new cases and 3,013 deaths were reported across the country on Friday, according to data updated Saturday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), setting new world records.
The new data brought the seven-day average daily case increase to a record-high of more than 209,000 cases, and the seven-day average daily death increase to nearly 2,400, highest since late April.
There are over 108,000 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the United States, a new all-time record since the onset of the pandemic, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
Cases and hospitalizations have kept soaring in the country recently, pushing medical centers to a breaking point and leaving health care staff burned out with extreme pressure.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday issued authorization for emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine of American drugmaker Pfizer in partnership with German company BioNTech, the first COVID-19 vaccine in the United States.
The authorization came amid one of the worst days of the pandemic for the United States, with record numbers of new cases, deaths and hospitalizations.
The emergency use authorization allows the vaccine to be distributed in the country and used for people 16 years of age and older.
The first shipments of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will begin arriving in U.S. states Monday, U.S. media quoted an official as saying on Saturday.
Shipping companies UPS and FedEx will deliver the vaccine to nearly 150 state locations, Gustave Perna, chief operating officer of the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed, was quoted as saying.
Perna said the vaccine was timed to arrive Monday morning so that health workers would be available to receive the shots and then begin giving them.
A key CDC panel met on Saturday and voted unanimously to recommend Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, according to U.S. media reports.
The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, an outside group of medical experts that advises the agency, voted 11 to 0 to recommend the vaccine for use in people 16 and older under the FDA's emergency authorization, according to a CNBC report.