54K New COVID Cases, 1245 New Deaths In US

54434 new coronavirus cases and 1245 deaths from the disease were reported in the United States on Tuesday.

With this, the national total of COVID cases increased to 29495420, according to latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The U.S. COVID death toll rose to 536922.

California, Florida and Texas, the three worst-affected states, reported more than 100 COVID deaths while New York had the most number of daily new infections – 6711.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a briefing that COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients announced at his weekly call with governors an increase of more than 16 million vaccines, including allotments from all three authorized vaccines. “When you add that to the doses going out through federal channels, including directly to pharmacies and community health centers, we have over 22 million doses going out the door just this week,” she told reporters.

In major COVID-related news outside the United States, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Tuesday reiterated that there was “no indication” of patients developing blood clots after AstraZeneca vaccine inoculations. An extraordinary meeting of the EU medicines regulator on Thursday will declare its decision on the continued use of the COVID-19 vaccine.

A dozen European countries have either temporarily halted AstraZeneca vaccine inoculations or delayed its roll out as a precaution.

The UK-based pharmaceutical and biotechnology giant said the rate of blood clots was lower than the number expected among the general population.

Responding to blood clot concerns, UK’s health secretary Matt Hancock said, “We keep the effects of these vaccines under review all the time and we know that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is saving lives in the UK right now so if you get the call, get the jab.”

Concerns about blood clots were “overblown”, according to Prof Jeremy Brown, a member of the British government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation.

Severe disruptions in health services due to the COVID-19 pandemic may have resulted in an additional 239,000 child and maternal deaths in South Asia last year, United Nations agencies said in a joint report on Wednesday. The report, which covered Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – also found that about 420 million children were out of school due to the pandemic and its related control measures.

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