US sets COVID-19 case records ahead of Moderna vaccine meeting

US sets COVID-19 case records ahead of Moderna vaccine meeting

The US on Wednesday reported record numbers for Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths, ahead of a key meeting for what could be the country’s second Covid-19 vaccine to get the green light.

Vaccine advisers to the Food and Drug Administration will meet Thursday to discuss Moderna’s vaccine and officials expect a speedy emergency use authorization process — even faster than last week’s for the Pfizer vaccine.

Hundreds of American health care workers have received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and many states have announced they’re also expecting nursing home resident vaccinations to begin this week. And on Wednesday, the FDA said people administering that vaccine may squeeze out extra doses from the vials if there is leftover solution in them after giving the standard five doses.

The first vaccinations and a possible green light for Moderna are all good news. But the pandemic raging in the US is still far from over — and more brutal than ever. Wednesday saw grim numbers all across — the highest Covid-19 infections and deaths ever reported in a single day, and the most Covid-19 hospitalizations the country has seen since the start of the pandemic. More than 247,000 new cases were reported. More than 113,000 Americans are hospitalized with the virus, according to the COVID Tracking Project. And more than 3,600 deaths were added to the nation’s death toll.