US surpasses 600,000 deaths from COVID-19 as nation continues vaccine effort

Virus Outbreak US
Posted at 12:59 PM, Jun 15, 2021

The U.S. has now surpassed 600,000 deaths from COVID-19.

Data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows the country reached the grim milestone on Tuesday. And the data shows more than 33.4 million Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus since it was first identified in the U.S. in early 2020.

The landmark death toll comes at a time when case numbers and deaths are at record lows across the country.

Data shows just 203 people died in the U.S. on Monday, one of the lowest daily death tolls the nation has seen since March. About 12,700 cases were confirmed that day.

Much of the country’s success in combating the pandemic can be attributed to the ongoing vaccination effort. As of Tuesday, about 54.4% of U.S. adults are fully vaccinated and more than 64% of people in that age group have received at least one dose, according to a vaccine tracker from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As a whole, the CDC says 43.7% of the total U.S. population has been fully vaccinated and 52.5% have gotten at least one shot.

Though these numbers are encouraging and states have now lifted most of their restrictions, the pandemic is not over. Americans are still dying as a result of COVID-19 and the virus remains a serious threat in countries without the vaccine infrastructure in place in the U.S.

Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Missouri, Nevada, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming have seen their average infection rates rise over the last few weeks, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. All of those states lag behind the national vaccination rate of 43% fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

President Joe Biden had hoped to reach 70% of the population with at least one dose of the vaccine by July 4. While some regions and individual counties have already met this goal, there are other parts of the country that are closer to 40% and will likely not reach that July 4 goal.