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Last Updated : Aug 09, 2020 08:13 AM IST | Source: Reuters

United States sets record as COVID-19 cases top 50 lakh

With one out of every 66 residents infected, the United States leads the world in COVID-19 cases, according to a Reuters analysis.

Reuters
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The United States set a record for coronavirus cases on August 8, with more than 5 million (50 lakh) people now infected, according to a Reuters tally, as the country's top infectious diseases official offered hope earlier this week that an effective vaccine might be available by year-end.

With one out of every 66 residents infected, the United States leads the world in COVID-19 cases, according to a Reuters analysis. The country has recorded more than 160,000 deaths, nearly a quarter of the world's total.

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The grim milestone comes as President Donald Trump signed executive orders intended to provide economic relief to Americans hurt by the coronavirus pandemic after the White House failed to reach a deal with Congress.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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On August 7, the US Labor Department reported that US employment growth slowed considerably in July, underscoring an urgent need for additional government aid.

Dr. Anthony Fauci told Reuters on Wednesday there could be at least one vaccine that works and is safe by year-end. But Trump offered a more optimistic view, saying it was possible the United States would have a coronavirus vaccine by the time of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

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First Published on Aug 9, 2020 07:31 am
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