VIRUS TODAY: Vaccinations off to slower than anticipated begin



The race to vaccinate thousands and thousands of People is off to a slower, messier begin than public well being officers and leaders of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Pace had anticipated

Right here’s what’s taking place Thursday with the pandemic within the U.S.:


— The race to vaccinate thousands and thousands of People is off to a slower, messier begin than public well being officers and leaders of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Pace had anticipated. Overworked, underfunded state public well being departments are scrambling to patch collectively plans for administering vaccines. Variations in how counties and hospitals administer the vaccine are resulting in lengthy traces, confusion and jammed telephone traces. Specialists say the federal authorities hasn’t completed sufficient to assist states meet their objectives for getting doses injected into arms.

— New York Metropolis police have deployed bomb-sniffing canine and sand-filled sanitation vehicles forward of Thursday’s iconic ball drop. However the division has additionally labored to stop crowds from gathering in Instances Sq.. Police started closing the world to automobiles and pedestrians 24 hours of time and stated they’d disperse onlookers venturing into the world closest to the ball. Revelers gained’t be permitted previous police traces, and even friends at 5 motels within the space have been advised to remain inside.

— The variety of People in search of unemployment advantages fell by 19,000 however stays elevated at 787,000 as a resurgent coronavirus grips the U.S. economic system. The weekly figures launched Thursday by the Labor Division present claims on the lowest stage in 4 weeks, however nonetheless almost 4 instances increased than a 12 months in the past, earlier than the coronavirus struck. The full variety of individuals receiving conventional unemployment advantages fell by 103,000 to five.2 million for the week ending Dec. 19. That’s nonetheless far higher than the 1.7 million a 12 months in the past, when the unemployment fee was hovering round a half-century low of three.9%.

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THE NUMBERS: The seven-day rolling common for every day new deaths within the U.S. decreased within the final two weeks from 2,585.1 on December 16 to 2,312.6 on December 30, in keeping with information from Johns Hopkins College.

DEATH TOLL: The variety of COVID-19-related deaths within the U.S. stands at greater than 342,000.

QUOTABLE: “The event of the vaccine was known as Operation Warp Pace, and the distribution of the vaccine ought to comply with that very same sense of urgency,” Republican Gov. Doug Ducey stated of the vaccination rollout in Arizona.

ICYMI: California introduced on Wednesday that it had documented the nation’s second confirmed case of a seemingly extra contagious variant of the coronavirus. A 30-year-old San Diego County man was discovered to have the variant. In the meantime, Los Angeles County hit a grim milestone because the state’s most populous county recorded greater than 10,000 deaths on Wednesday. Authorities say one other surge in hospitalizations and deaths might come if individuals ignore pointers.

ON THE HORIZON: President-elect Joe Biden is planning a lighting ceremony on the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool to honor these killed by the coronavirus the day earlier than he’s sworn into workplace on Jan. 20. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris plan to take their oaths of workplace outdoors the U.S. Capitol constructing, a part of inauguration occasions that goal to seize the normal grandeur of the historic ceremony whereas complying with COVID-19 protocols.


Discover AP’s full protection of the coronavirus pandemic at



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