US Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic have crossed 50m, according to Johns Hopkins University data on Monday, on the eve of the first anniversary of the country’s vaccination rollout.
The infection milestone compares to that of the country’s top public health agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which had confirmed almost 49.75m cases as of its most recent update on Sunday afternoon, more than any other nation.
A rising winter wave of Covid-19 infections has pushed the average daily case rate for the US over the past week to almost 120,000, the highest level since late September. That should push the CDC’s total for the entire pandemic above 50m when it publishes new figures later on Monday.
The US has reached its latest infection milestone almost a year on from the start of the nation’s vaccine rollout. The first dose was administered to an intensive care nurse in New York on December 14 2020.
Over the past year, more than 484m vaccine doses have been administered in the US. Almost 202m Americans, or 60.8 per cent of the total population, are fully vaccinated, and 26.6 per cent of that group have also received booster shots.
More than 1.6m vaccine doses have been administered each day over the past week, the highest level since late May. Top US health officials have urged residents to get vaccinated heading in to colder months and the holiday season, which often involves indoor gatherings and travel.
Concerns about the new Omicron variant of coronavirus and the waning protective impact of vaccines received earlier in the year may also have contributed to elevated demand for doses.
The number of deaths in the US related to Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic sits at 797,916, according to Johns Hopkins University, or 793,937 based on CDC data.