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U.S. adds almost 4,400 more COVID-19 deaths, 182,000 new cases

Thousands of flags are planted on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to represent more than 400,000 Americans who have died so far of the coronavirus disease. The Washington Monument can be seen in the distance.  Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI
Thousands of flags are planted on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., to represent more than 400,000 Americans who have died so far of the coronavirus disease. The Washington Monument can be seen in the distance.  Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Coronavirus deaths in the United States skyrocketed on Wednesday to nearly a new all-time high, with well over 4,000 patients dying of the disease, according to updated data.

New data from Johns Hopkins University on Thursday showed almost 4,400 deaths nationwide on Wednesday, the second-most to date. The toll is surpassed only by about 4,600 deaths on Jan. 12.

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There were about 182,700 new COVID-19 cases nationwide on Wednesday, according to the data.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been about 24.7 million coronavirus cases and 407,200 related deaths in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins.

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Health officials and experts are expecting to see initial results soon from the vaccine in development at Johnson & Johnson -- a single-dose inoculation that's more stable to various temperatures that some say could be a "game changer" in the global fight against the virus.

The scientific data from the pharmaceutical company about the vaccine is expected at any time.

Medical Research Council president Glenda Gray said earlier this month that the results were expected by Thursday, but others expect them by the end of the month.

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There are two coronavirus vaccines now approved for use in the United States, one from Moderna and another from Pfizer and partner BioNTech. Both have proven to be about 95% effective, but both require two doses and strict temperature requirements for storage.

The vaccine by Johnson & Johnson does not need to be stored constantly at extremely cold temperatures, which would make it far easier to ship.

Some distribution has been slowed by the requirements of the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

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About 16.5 million people in the United States have so far received at least one dose of the available vaccines and almost 36 million doses have been distributed to health centers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Other COVID-19 updates on Thursday:

  • New research Thursday says two drugs called monoclonal antibodies can reduce the levels of coronavirus in people exhibiting mild or moderate symptoms.
  • President Joe Biden is set to sign several orders on Thursday to provide greater aid to states and expand coronavirus testing.
  • A new study says children with the virus are much more likely to spread the illness to family members than older adults.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci told the World Health Organization on Thursday that the Biden administration is committed to remaining with the global health body and maintain its role as a top fiscal donor. Former President Donald Trump began a process last year to withdraw from the WHO. Biden signed an order Wednesday halting the move.
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