59818 new coronavirus cases and 1611 deaths from the disease were reported in the United States on Thursday.
With this, the national total of COVID cases increased to 29667305, according to latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The U.S. COVID death toll rose to 539698.
California and Texas, the two worst-affected states, together account for more than one fourth of the COVID-related fatalities recorded in the country Thursday.
New York had the most number of daily new infections – 5515.
President Joe Biden announced that by Friday, 58 days after assuming office, his administration will have met the goal of administering 100 million vaccine shots to fellow Americans. This is far ahead of his target of administering 100 million shots against the virus in the first 100 days of his rule.
He said that 65 percent of people aged 65 or above in the U.S. have received at least one shot, and that 36 percent are fully vaccinated.
“We have gone from 1 million shots a day to an average of two and one half million shots a day, outpacing the rest of the world significantly,” Biden said while delivering remarks on the 100 Million Shot Goal.
“Scientists have made clear that things may get worse as new variants of this virus spread. Getting vaccinated is the best thing we can do to fight back against these variants,” he added.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed at a Press Briefing that the U.S. plans to loan 2.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines to Mexico and 1.5 million doses to Canada pending FDA approval.
In a major development outside the U.S., the European Medicines Agency has concluded that AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine is “safe and effective”. An extraordinary meeting of the EU medicines regulator on Thursday gave the go-ahead on the continued use of the COVID-19 vaccine.
13 European countries had either temporarily halted AstraZeneca vaccine inoculations or delayed its roll out as a precaution following reports of patients developing blood clots after receiving AstraZeneca vaccine jabs.
French capital Paris will be under a month-long Covid lock-down from Saturday over fears a third wave of the pandemic.
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