Covid: HHS chief pushes to open vaccines to more people; Senate Democrats eye stimulus-check boost

The coverage on this live blog has ended — for up-to-the-minute coverage on the coronavirus, visit CNBC's latest live blog.

U.S. health experts continue to raise alarm over the country's slow vaccine rollout. As of Tuesday morning, just 4.8 million vaccine doses had been administered across the country, out of a total 17 million doses distributed to administration sites, according to the CDC. CVS Health said Wednesday it's on pace to complete the first round of vaccinations at long-term care facilities by Jan. 25. The company also said a small number of vaccine doses could be made available at pharmacy locations in the coming weeks ahead of a broad rollout. Experts have recommended a number of changes to improve the pace of vaccinations, including broadening early eligibility and reducing stored capacity for second doses.

Here are some of the biggest developments Wednesday:

The U.S. is recording at least 219,200 new Covid-19 cases and at least 2,670 virus-related deaths each day, based on a seven-day average calculated by CNBC using Johns Hopkins University data.

The following data was compiled by Johns Hopkins University:

  • Global cases: More than 86.94 million
  • Global deaths: At least 1.87 million
  • U.S. cases: More than 21.22 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 359,977