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Covid updates: Nearly 28 million vaccine doses doled out in U.S.; Novavax upping monthly vaccine production

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The World Health Organization has warned that new and more contagious Covid variants are fueling a spike in infections and death across Africa. WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said the variant first identified in South Africa "has spread quickly beyond Africa, and so what's keeping me awake at night right now is that it's very likely circulating in a number of African countries." The United States on Thursday confirmed its first two cases of the South Africa strain, known as B.1.351, in two South Carolina adults with no travel history or connection with one another.

Here are some of the biggest developments Friday:

The U.S. is recording at least 158,500 new Covid-19 cases and at least 3,200 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 101.9 million 
  • Global deaths: At least 2.2 million
  • U.S. cases: More than 25.88 million
  • U.S. deaths: At least 435,765