The COVID-19 pandemic that has plagued much of the year is reaching its pique as flu season rages on. On November 17, the virus claimed the lives of 1,707 Americans. At that rate, researchers John Hopkins University found that the coronavirus is killing Americans at a rate of one per minute. Adding on, the United States recorded more than 170,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases on November 13.
November has been the worst month of the pandemic thus far. This month, officials have reported single-day record highs of deaths and confirmed cases. In totality, the country has experienced 11.5 million confirmed cases and more than 250,000 deaths. Worldwide, 56.4 million people have contracted the virus and 1.3 million have died from it. Moving forward, researchers project that the United States could endure more than 350,000 COVID-19 related deaths by March.
Black Americans have been hit the hardest by the pandemic. The APM Research Lab found that Black Americans are dying at twice the rate of their white counterparts. Moreover, one in 1,000 Black Americans have died from the virus since February.
At the moment, the one bright spot within the pandemic has been the rapid development of a vaccine. Both Pfizer and Moderna have reported that their COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be more than 90% effective during trials. The two companies will seek emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration. If successful, coronavirus vaccines could begin being distributed before the end of the year.
COVID-19 vaccines will be distributed to high-risk populations and medical professionals first. From there, the vaccine will slowly be distributed to the general public.
“The available vaccine doses are just too small to ensure that we could make a significant difference to the society right away," BioNTech CEO Dr. Ugur Sahin said.
“We might be able to get control of this pandemic situation late summer 2021.”