By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) - More than a quarter of a million people in the US have died from the novel coronavirus since the first recorded deaths in early February, according to a tracker Wednesday.
Maryland-based Johns Hopkins University recorded 250,029 deaths and 11.4 million cases while nearly 4.3 million people have recovered from the disease.
The country continues to lead the world both in cases and deaths.
The latest milestone came after US biotech firm Moderna, US drugmaker Pfizer and German biotech firm BioNTech announced that their vaccine candidates are more than 90% effective.
Both Pfizer and Moderna stressed this week that their vaccine candidates were about 95% effective in Phase 3 trials.
US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said earlier in the day that the nation will have around 40 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine available by the end of next month.
"By the end of December, we expect to have about 40 million doses of these two vaccines available for distribution pending FDA authorization, enough to vaccinate about 20 million of our most vulnerable Americans," Azar told reporters, referring to the Food and Drug Administration.
According to Johns Hopkins data, the state of Texas has reported the highest coronavirus case tally at 1,078,875, followed by California with 1,057,245 and Florida with 905,248.
Global figures stood at more than 56 million cases and 1.34 million deaths.