In another bleak reminder of the toll the COVID-19 pandemic has taken on the U.S., Johns Hopkins reported Wednesday that the country had surpassed three-quarters of a million deaths from the virus since early 2020.
The U.S. reached the grim milestone Wednesday — the same day that tens of millions of children across the country became eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deaths from the virus remain elevated but have fallen significantly since the delta variant's peak this summer. Currently, about 1,100 Americans are dying of the virus each day, down from a 2021 high of 1,200 in mid-September.
Health officials say that the current COVID-19 death toll is largely avoidable. The vast majority of those who have died in recent months were unvaccinated, according to the CDC.
The agency says that unvaccinated people are 4.5 times more likely to contract COVID-19 and 11 times more likely to die from the virus compared to those who are vaccinated.
Worldwide, the U.S. and Brazil (608,000) are the only other countries that have recorded more than half a million COVID-19 deaths. India currently has seen about 460,000 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
The U.S. also leads the world in confirmed COVID-19 cases with more than 46 million.