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Health care workers across the United States were among the first Americans to get the federally approved coronavirus vaccine, marking a critical moment in the fight against Covid-19.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top disease expert, predicted that after vaccines are more widely deployed the country could achieve herd immunity against Covid-19 by "the end of the second quarter 2021."
The beginning of this new phase in fighting the virus came as the U.S. death toll passed 300,000, and recorded more than 200,000 infections in one day.
- Map of U.S. hot spots and worldwide Covid-19 cases.
- Tracking surges in states across the country this winter.
- Map of travel restrictions and which states have a mask mandate.
- Click here for more of NBC News' Covid-19 coverage.
Fauci says Biden, Harris should receive coronavirus vaccine as soon as possible
Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that he thinks President-elect Joe Biden should receive a Covid-19 vaccination as soon as possible for security reasons.
When asked in an interview on ABC's "Good Morning America" whether he thinks Biden should receive the vaccine right away, Fauci said, "I believe so."
"I mean, this is a person who will very soon be the president of the United States. ...Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will very soon be the Vice President of the United States. For security reasons, I really feel strongly that we should get them vaccinated as soon as we possibly can. You want him fully protected as he enters into the presidency in January, so that would be my strong recommendation."
A transition official said Monday that Biden is consulting with Fauci on the vaccine and plans to take it in public when Fauci recommends he should do so.
U.S. records another 200,000-plus Covid cases, California sets another new daily record
The U.S. counted more than 200,000 Covid-19 cases Monday, reporting 261,250 cases, according to NBC News' tally.
The high total was partially due to a backlog of nearly 50,000 probable cases reported in Texas. The country also reported 1,642 Covid-19 deaths, bringing the death toll to more than 301,000.
As of Monday, at least 1 in 20 in the U.S. have had the disease.
The outbreaks are shifting: In the past two weeks Rhode Island, Indiana and Tennessee have had the highest per-capita rate of infections. Two weeks ago, it was North Dakota, Wyoming and South Dakota.
These states set single-day records:
- California, 39,541 cases
- Rhode Island, 46 dead