U.S. readies COVID-19 vaccine rollout as death toll climbs

NEW YORK/INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) -Health authorities, shipping services and hospitals, expecting imminent federal regulatory approval of the first COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, put final plans in place on Friday to launch a mass-inoculation campaign of unparalleled dimension.

Last-minute preparations for the vaccine rollout came as the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus pandemic approached 300,000 to date, capping weeks of ominously surging infections and hospitalizations that have strained healthcare systems to their limits.

Another 2,902 U.S. deaths were reported on Thursday, a day after a record 3,253, a pace projected to continue over the next two to three months even as distribution of available vaccine supplies ramps up. The process could start as soon as Monday.

Moving with unprecedented speed, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday was on the cusp of approving emergency use of the coronavirus vaccine developed by Pfizer

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