The U.S. daily death average has now climbed over 1,400.
The United States has been facing a COVID-19 surge as the more contagious delta variant continues to spread.
More than 678,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 while over 4.7 million people have died from the disease worldwide, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The average number of daily deaths in the U.S. has risen about 20% in the last week, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The U.S. is continuing to sink on the list of global vaccination rates, currently ranking №45, according to data compiled by The Financial Times. Just 64% of Americans ages 12 and up are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the CDC.
Alabama is experiencing a near record-breaking surge in COVID-19 deaths.
“We are seeing a decrease in the number of patients that are in the hospital, but unfortunately, it’s not because all of them are getting better and going home to their families… these patients are dying,” Dr. Kierstin Kennedy, chief of hospital medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, told ABC News Tuesday.
In July, there were only six COVID-19 patients in the UAB hospital, but within four weeks, the number skyrocketed over 100, according to Kennedy.
This latest wave of patients is much younger, primarily consisting of unvaccinated patients, Kennedy said.
“These patients are as sick if not sicker than elderly patients. They’re staying in the hospital longer, and they’re dying at an alarming rate,” Kennedy said. “It’s unlike anything that I’ve seen.”
Alabama State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said Friday, “2020 is going to be the first year that we know of in the history of our state where we actually had more deaths than births — our state literally shrunk in 2020.”
Across Alabama, more than 97% of ICU beds are in use, according to federal data.
The United Kingdom and South Korea have agreed to share COVID-19 vaccine doses to mutually support the rollout of shots in each nation.
The U.K. will send 1 million of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses to South Korea to enhance their vaccination program, with the first batch of shots expected to arrive in the coming weeks. South Korea will return the same volume by the end of the year, as the U.K. presses ahead with its vaccine rollout and booster shot program over the winter months, according to a press release from the U.K. Department of Health and Social Care.
The swapping initiative, similar to the arrangement between the U.K. and Australia, will help South Korea toward hitting its target of administering a second dose to 70% of its population by the end of October.
“The Republic of Korea is a strategic partner for the UK and the sharing of one million vaccines benefits both countries as we help build resistance against COVID-19 and save lives,” British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement Tuesday.
The deal will have no impact on the U.K.’s ongoing vaccine rollout or booster shot program, nor will it effect the doses the country has already pledged to give to the global vaccine-sharing initiative COVAX. Almost 90% of people over the age of 16 in the U.K. are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses are not immediately required in the U.K. due to robust supply management, according to the U.K. Department of Health and Social Care.
Brazilian Minister of Health Marcelo Queiroga said Tuesday that he has tested positive for COVID-19 while in New York City for the United Nations General Assembly.
Queiroga, who accompanied Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to the event, announced his diagnosis on Twitter and said he will quarantine.
The Biden administration is ordering another 500 million doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to donate to countries around the globe, the White House said.
President Joe Biden is set to announce the commitment at a virtual COVID-19 summit on Wednesday, held amid the United Nations General Assembly.
Biden is also poised to call on world leaders, the nonprofit sector and private industry to commit to certain goals, including a 70% global vaccination rate by the end of 2022, during his remarks at the summit, a senior White House administration official told reporters Tuesday.
Biden announced an initial 500-million-dose commitment in June. This second purchase, which the president had teased during his remarks to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, would bring the administration’s total donated doses to 1.1 billion.
The new batch of doses will be purchased from Pfizer at a not-for-profit price, manufactured in the U.S. and begin shipping out in January 2022, the White House official said.
The U.S. has so far sent more than 160 million doses to 100 other countries, Biden said.
The latest announcement comes as the World Health Organization has criticized the U.S. for pushing booster doses while much of the world has yet to receive a single shot.
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