Ten points to mark three years of COVID-19

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On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) described COVID-19 as a “pandemic” for the first time, saying “we have rung the alarm bell loud and clear.” As we mark three years since then, here are 10 key data points that highlight the challenges and progress made to date. All data provided is as of February 28, 2023, unless otherwise noted.


Number of days elapsed between March 11, 2020 and March 11, 2023

March 11, 2023 marks 1,095 days since the WHO first labeled COVID-19 as a pandemic. Even before that date, on January 30, 2020, the WHO had already declared COVID-19 a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC) and the US government declared COVID-19 a “public health emergency”. Had given. (PHE) on January 31, 2020. The US PHE is renewed every 90 days, although the Biden administration recently announced that the PHE would expire on May 11, 2023.


Global number of COVID-19 deaths to date*

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been nearly 7 million COVID-19 deaths worldwide. This is likely an underestimate, as many COVID deaths are not reported and counted. Estimates using additional death counts put the actual toll closer to 15 to 20 million or even higher.


US COVD-19 death toll to date

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 1.1 million of all reported COVID-19 deaths have occurred in the United States.


Global number of COVID-19 cases to date

More than three-quarters of the more than one billion confirmed COVID-19 cases so far have been from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, possibly a fraction of the true number of infections. Getting an accurate and up-to-date picture of where and how much the virus is being transmitted has been challenging, given limited testing, incomplete surveillance and reporting systems, and other factors.


Number of COVID-19 cases in the US to date

More than a hundred million COVID-19 cases have been registered in the US so far.


Share of global population vaccinated against COVID-19

Overall, seven out of 10 people worldwide have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 65% have been fully vaccinated. However, a very small number of stocks have got a booster shot. In low-income countries, fewer than three in 10 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine. More information about vaccine coverage is available here.


Share of US population vaccinated against COVID-19

As of February 23, nearly 8 in 10 people in the US have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 69.3% are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but of those who received the updated booster, The share is quite low, at just 17.2%.


Total dose of vaccine administered in the US

In the two years since COVID-19 vaccines became widely available, more than 671 million doses have been administered in the US to a population of about 330 million.


Number of vaccine doses distributed by the US government for global use

In 2021, the US government pledged to donate over 1 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines to countries in need. By February 2023, the US had distributed more than 680 million of these doses, and is the largest government donor to COVID-19 vaccination efforts. The gap between the total number of vaccines pledged and the vaccines delivered reflects a rising supply and falling demand for COVID-19 vaccinations globally.


Number of named forms of concern

SARS-CoV-2 evolves and spreads over time, sometimes giving rise to new “variants of concern”, or genetic changes to the virus with potentially harmful implications for public health. Since the original version of the virus appeared, WHO has identified 5 different variants of concern: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron (the major global variant that is now in circulation).

*The case and death numbers used here are based on reports, and do not account for undercounts including countries with very large populations such as India and China.

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