The next big step toward a COVID vaccine took place on Friday. Pfizer formally sought US regulators' approval of its vaccine, which has shown to be 95% effective in clinical trials, reports the AP and STAT News. FDA scientists are expected to give the green light for distribution in a few weeks, setting the stage for a fast but limited rollout at some point in the second half of December, per CNBC. Moderna is expected to seek emergency approval for its vaccine soon as well, and several other companies continue work on their own versions. The hopeful news comes amid yet more unwanted COVID stats, notes the Wall Street Journal.
- Daily infections in the US hit a record 187,833 on Thursday, according to John Hopkins figures. That tops the previous record, set last Friday, by about 10,000.
- On Thursday, the US had 80,698 people hospitalized with COVID, the first time the figure has eclipsed 80,000. Only nine days ago, the US recorded 60,000 hospitalizations for the first time.
- The seven-day rolling average of new cases was 161,165, above the 14-day average of 144,238, per the Journal. When the seven-day average exceeds the 14-day average, it means cases are on the rise.
(The US just hit 250,000 deaths