Covid updates: U.S. death toll hits 300,000; new virus variant spreading in UK

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The first doses of a Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine began shipping over the weekend, and the first vaccinations in the U.S. are set to take place Monday. The vaccine is a two-dose shot and roughly 95% effective in preventing the virus. It's likely to be administered to health-care and front-line workers first, followed closely by vulnerable populations like older people living in nursing homes. The arrival of a long-awaited vaccine offers the promise of a return to normal in the coming year, but health experts maintain public safety measures are still necessary while the drug is distributed.

The U.S. is recording at least 213,700 new Covid-19 cases and at least 2,400 virus-related deaths each day, based on a seven-day average calculated by CNBC using Johns Hopkins University data.

Here are some of the biggest developments Monday:

The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:

  • Global cases: More than 72.65 million
  • Global deaths: At least 1.61 million
  • U.S. cases: More than 16.4 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 300,361