USA TODAY is keeping track of the news surrounding COVID-19 as a pair of experiments unite the U.S. fight against a virus that has killed nearly 390,000 Americans since the first recorded fatality in February. Keep refreshing this page for the newest updates surrounding the coronavirus, including who's getting the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, in addition to other good information from across the USA TODAY Network. Sign up for our Coronavirus Watch newsletter for updates directly to your inbox, combine our Facebook group or scroll through our comprehensive answers to reader queries for all you want to learn more about the coronavirus.
In the headlines:
► Texas has distributed more than 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday as the state ramps up mass vaccination efforts while hospitals grapple with record numbers of sufferers.
► The coronavirus pandemic is projected to lower Americans' life expectancy at birth by over a year, according to a research of University of Southern California and Princeton University published Thursday. Life expectancy for Black and Latino populations is expected to reduce 30% to 40 percent more than white inhabitants.
► President-elect Joe Biden introduced a $1.9 trillion spending package Thursday that plans to accelerate distribution of the coronavirus vaccines and provide economic relief due to the pandemic.
► Disneyland announced it would end its Annual Passports app on Thursday, at the same time offering refunds to 2020 pass holders after COVID-19 kept visitors locked from this theme park for the majority of the year.
► A false rumor that additional vaccine doses have been available had people lining the sidewalks and cars filling the roadways in New York City. And more than a hundred people went to Bay Area sites, despite not qualifying for the vaccines, after a mistake together with the Treaty portal in California, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
► A research in Nevada released Wednesday says about one-third of the nation's residents are unlikely to have vaccinated for the coronavirus.
Today's figures: The U.S. has more than 23.3 million supported coronavirus cases and over 388,500 deaths, based on Johns Hopkins University data. The global totals: More than 93 million instances and 1.99 million deaths.
However, is it too little, too late? Read here.
NIH updates guidelines for use of unborn tablet in COVID-19 Therapy
The National Institutes of Health declared Thursday that it's revising its caution against accepting ivermectin -- a pill to deal with ailments, commonly found in pet heartworm medication -- as a coronavirus cure or prevention for pets or people.
Ivermectin made the mainstream and social press rounds in April after its mention in studies, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had cautioned against its usage.
But don't go out and purchase heartworm medication for dogs just yet -- ivermectinthe panel included, isn't FDA-approved for treating any viral infection. Although the medication is presently being examined as a possible treatment for COVID-19, the panel said they"cannot draw definitive conclusions about the clinical effectiveness or safety of ivermectin for treating COVID-19."
President-elect Joe Biden's COVID program calls for 100M shots in first 100 days
President-elect Joe Biden wants Americans to receive 100 million COVID-19 vaccine shots through the first 100 days of his administration, a lofty goal to undo a slow beginning to the country's vaccine rollout.
Biden offered few specifics on how his administration would attain the ambitious deadline through a Thursday night address on his projected $1.9 trillion economic recovery package. He plans to share more details Friday on his vaccine program.
"This is one of the hardest operational efforts we've ever undertaken as a nation," Biden said. "We are going to have to move heaven and earth to get more people vaccinated, to make more places for them to get vaccinated, to mobilize more medical teams to have shots in peoples' arms."
Biden proposes $20 billion for a nationwide vaccination program with states, local tribes and government and will include community vaccination centers and cellular vaccination units to reach distant areas.
Researchers discover new variants of US COVID-19 virus
Research teams at two universities announced Thursday they'd found a new version of COVID-19.
A research team at Southern Illinois University discovered a new variant of this COVID-19 virus that's particular to and dominant in the U.S., adding to the growing list of mutations such as those discovered in the uk and South Africa, the university said in a statement.
"It's here. We found that it," Keith Gagnon, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry in SIU, said. "It is definitely home-grown and prevalent, and we are the first to characterize it."
It may be more easily transmissible than other variants, and its effects on vaccines is unclear, the college said.
Also, scientists at The Ohio State University have discovered a new version of SARS-Cov-2the virus which causes COVID-19. The new variant carries a mutation identical to the breed in the uk, but it probably arose in a virus breed already present in the USA.