The United States for the first time has reported more than 4,000 deaths in a day on Thursday since the beginning of the pandemic.
At least 4,051 deaths due to COVID-19 have been reported on Thursday, according to the Johns Hopkins University.
According to the data provided by the university, the US has reported a record number of deaths due to the virus for three days in a row while the number of cases due to the infection has topped 21.56 million cases, as reported by CNN.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has projected that there will be deaths between 405,000 and 438,000 by the end of January. The previous forecast, published on December 30, projected up to 424,000 deaths by January 23.
US Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Thursday that states able to vaccinate beyond phase 1a recommendations -- which include health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities -- should do so.
"States not only can but SHOULD aggressively expand vaccinations to other phases if current supply exceeds demand in phase 1a," the surgeon general said on Twitter.
Kentucky Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said on Thursday that sticking to guidelines of who should be prioritised for the vaccine "should not stand in the way of" facilities using all the doses they receive.
"Sometimes, more than 30 per cent of eligible people decline to receive the vaccine when offered," Stack said as quoted by CNN and added, "There's a need to be flexible or else we don't administer the vaccine. A shot in a willing arm is ultimately a higher priority than a shot in only certain arms... We're prioritizing, but focusing on not letting vaccines sit in a freezer, where it helps no one, for extended periods of time." The global coronavirus cases currently stand at 88 million, as per Johns Hopkins University's latest update.