Health and Medicine

More in US have died in 2021 from COVID-19 than 2020, data show

COVID-19 has already killed more people in the United States this year than it did in 2020.

Since Jan. 1, more than 353,000 deaths have been reported from COVID-19, about a thousand more than last year’s 352,000 for the first 10 months of the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

There are key differences between the two years that could account for some of the shift, medical experts said.

Florida International University professor and Department of Epidemiology chairwoman Dr. Mary Jo Trepka told the New York Daily News that the much more contagious delta variant upped the number of cases, making cumulative totals much higher. That was compounded by the lack of herd immunity because of low vaccine uptake.

“So there were a lot of people being exposed, in the face of not really having herd immunity anywhere, and having the delta variant, which is much more contagious,” Trepka told the Daily News.

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