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COVID-19 deaths top 2,100 a day amid Omicron wave

Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani details the record-breaking daily COVID-19 deaths as the Omicron wave continues and the beginning of Pfizer and BioNTech's clinical trial for an Omicron vaccine.

Video transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING]

EMILY MCCORMICK: Welcome back. COVID-19 deaths in the US reached the highest level since last February, after Omicron, though milder for some, spread with record-breaking speed. Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani joins us now with the latest. And Anjalee, these numbers have been staggering with this highly contagious variant. Break this down for us.

ANJALEE KHEMLANI: Absolutely, Emily. So we know that of course, unfortunately, death lags the other metrics that we use, which is a surge in cases or hospitalizations. As it stands right now, we are seeing a record number again, more than 2,100 deaths on Monday. And that is a high for this current wave but we do know that we saw sort of the highest last January and that a record number was more than 3,000. So we haven't quite hit that yet and we are still waiting and watching, though it does seem like this wave from Omicron is not necessarily going to get there.

We also know that cases have started to come around. Nationally speaking, there are still pockets where it may surge still. Hospitalizations also down just a bit from a high of a couple weeks ago, and now at around 147,000, rather more than 150,000. So we're keeping an eye on those numbers. As we've seen throughout previous surges, it could go either way. So that's where things stand right now.

Meanwhile, we're also watching the Pfizer and BioNTech news today, which is the start of a trial for their Omicron-specific vaccine dose. And that is going to be pretty helpful if we look at the need for it, if in fact, this variant does in one instance, possibly mutate more or just others that are related to it, it might be helpful. So that's something to keep an eye on. The initial timeline was supposed to look at probably data out by March but based on what regulators might need, it might even go out until June. So we'll keep an eye on things there. Back to you.

EMILY MCCORMICK: Yahoo Finance's Anjalee Khemlani, thank you so much for that report.

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