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COVID-19 live updates: 126,000 Americans hospitalized with COVID-19


(NEW YORK) — As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept the globe, more than 5.4 million people have died from the disease worldwide, including over 833,000 Americans, according to real-time data compiled by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

About 62.4% of the population in the United States is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:

Jan 06, 10:47 pm
Global COVID cases top 300 million

The number of global cases of COVID-19 crossed 300 million on Thursday night, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The U.S. continues to have the most cases in the world — as it has all pandemic — with over 58 million cases. India (35 million), Brazil (22 million), the U.K. (14 million) and France (11 million) round out the top 5 countries by total cases.

Global cases crossed 200 million on Aug. 4, 2021, and 100 million on Jan. 26, 2021, according to JHU.

With many people now experiencing second bouts of the virus, it’s unclear how many total people have been infected globally.

Jan 06, 7:18 pm
Chicago cancels classes for 3rd day

Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third largest school district, canceled instruction on Friday for the third day in a row amid an impasse over in-person learning.

Classes were first canceled Wednesday, and then again on Thursday, after a majority of the Chicago Teachers Union’s membership voted this week in favor of remote learning during a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The district said Thursday evening that all classes will be canceled on Friday, though some schools may be able to offer in-person activities for students.

“Our schools are the best, safest place for students to be during this pandemic, and we are working tirelessly to get everyone back in class every day,” Pedro Martinez, head of the school district, said in a letter to families, noting that they are continuing to work with the union “to resolve this situation.”

The teacher’s union is calling for more robust school COVID-19 testing and contact tracing.

Jan 06, 6:43 pm
J&J says vaccine offers lower initial efficacy but more stable protection over time

Johnson & Johnson’s single-shot COVID-19 vaccine offers lower initial efficacy compared to Pfizer’s and Moderna’s, but protection against breakthrough infection remains more stable over time, according to a new study sponsored by the pharmaceutical company.

The study found that the J&J vaccine was 74% effective against breakthrough infection in the weeks following the shot. This level of protection held steady over the next three months and started waning after the fourth month.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, meanwhile, were 88% and 92% effective, respectively, against breakthrough infection in the weeks following the second dose, the study found. This level of protection started waning after the second month, falling progressively over six months.

Protection against severe illness remained more stable over time for all three vaccines.

The analysis, which has not been peer-reviewed, looked at data from 168 million people between Jan. 1 and Sept. 7 of last year. It covers a period of alpha and delta variant dominance, but the results could change now that the omicron variant is also present.

The data supports current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for booster shots after two months for the J&J vaccine to bring initial efficacy higher, and booster shots for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines after five and six months, respectively, to boost efficacy after a period of waning.

-ABC News’ Sony Salzman

Jan 06, 4:44 pm
Less than 0.1% of fully vaccinated adults get severe COVID-19: CDC

COVID-19 vaccines dramatically reduce the risk of severe illness and death from the virus, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published Thursday.

The study looked at 1.2 million fully vaccinated adults who received either two shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Just 0.18% of patients had breakthrough COVID-19 infections, and 0.015% developed serious illness that led to hospitalization, ICU admission, mechanical ventilation, intubation or death.

The small portion of people who did become seriously sick or die of COVID-19 after being vaccinated were primarily older adults, immunocompromised people or those living with multiple underlying medical conditions.

The study was conducted before the emergence of the omicron variant, which appears to more easily evade — at least partially — the protection offered by vaccines.

-ABC News’ Sony Salzman

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