Still unclear how long COVID vaccine protection lasts

COVID vaccine arrives as 72 million infected and 1.6 million have died worldwide

National Vaccine(ABC News) –A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 72.2 million people and killed over 1.6 million worldwide, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

National Guard to help distribute vaccine

Members of the National Guard will help distribute the coronavirus vaccine in 26 states and territories, a National Guard official said during a press briefing Monday.

National Guard commanders from Ohio, West Virginia and Oklahoma detailed the limited role their members will play in their respective states.

It will work with state departments of health to break down the large 975-batch Pfizer packages into smaller packages as needed, and use rented vehicles and equipment to transfer packages from main hubs to satellite sites for further distribution.

-ABC News’ Matt Seyler contributed to this report

COVID-19 has now killed 300,267 Americans

The number of Americans killed by COVID-19 rose to 300,267 confirmed deaths on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The grim milestone comes after the United States logged 3,124 deaths in a single day last week, the highest one-day death toll reported since the outbreak began.

Still unclear how long COVID-19 vaccine protection lasts: FDA

One of the biggest unanswered questions scientists have about the COVID-19 vaccine is how long virus protection will last after people get two doses. While more research needs to be done before any official guidance is released, Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research at the Food and Drug Administration, said early vaccine trials may provide clues.

At the very least, a two-shot vaccination should offer at least several months of protection, Marks explained during an interview with the Journal of the American Medical Association on Monday.

“It’s at least probably on the order of four to six months,” Marks said. “The question is, will it reach out to a year? Hopefully, yes. But I think we’ll have those data in the not so different future.”

-ABC News’ Anne Flaherty contributed to this report.

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