Vaccination efforts ramp up across the United States


LOS ANGELES, Calif. (WPRI) — California is dealing with dire conditions in hospitals, with state models projecting hospitalizations could rise from nearly 22,000 to 30,000 by Feb 1.

Saturday, the California Department of Public Health reported a record one-day total of 695 coronavirus deaths. Since the start of the pandemic, the death toll rose to 29,233, according to state health officials.

Meanwhile, the United States reported 278,920 new COVID-19 cases Saturday, surpassing Friday’s one-day record of 269,420.

Friday marked just two weeks after Christmas and about a week after New Year’s Eve, meaning holiday gatherings and travel were the likely culprits.

As cases rise, more cities and states are ramping up vaccination efforts.

San Diego’s Petco Park is the home of a new vaccination site, and beginning Monday, New York City is opening 24-hour vaccination centers.

“This is going to be an intensive effort. We are well on pace to hit 100,000 vaccinations this week,” NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday. “Next week, we’re going to go a lot farther.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 22.1 million doses of the vaccines have been distributed, but just under 7 million people have received their first of two doses.

The CDC’s COVID Data Tracker shows as of Jan. 8, Rhode Island had distributed 72,175 doses of the vaccine, with 30,264 receiving their first dose.

In a meeting of the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Subcommittee Friday, Phase 1.2 groups beginning to get doses administered include COVID specimen collectors, pharmacists, and those at other long-term care facilities including group homes, assisted living, and elderly housing with residential services.

In Massachusetts, their data tracker shows 449,625 doses have been distributed, with 151,430 receiving their first doses.

Monday, first responders in Massachusetts will begin to receive their first doses.

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