(CNSNews.com) - In the past week, Wednesday to Wednesday, another 14,527 people, at least, died of coronavirus in this country, according to the most recent data posted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As the table shows, the vast majority of those COVID-involved deaths -- 13,816 -- were in people age 55 or older, according to death certificates filed with CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.
From the very beginning of the pandemic, medical experts warned that the elderly and infirm were particularly vulnerable to the virus, and that continues to be the case.
CDC notes that death certificates "are the most reliable source of data," and that data is updated continuously as death certificates continue to come in to NCHS on a lagging basis. The delay in receiving and entering death certificates explains the discrepancy between CDC's official death count and the numbers posted by other groups.
As the chart below shows, the COVID death toll has been rising sharply since early October. (Numbers for recent weeks are subject to the largest revisions, as additional death certificates arrive.)
With the holidays and colder weather upon us, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging Americans to "act now" to slow the spread.
That includes mask-wearing and avoiding indoor gatherings with people from different households.
But it appears the nation is now on track to exceed the peak number of weekly deaths -- 17,095 -- recorded in mid-April.
But amid the bad news of rising COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths, there is some hopeful news.
On Thursday morning, Assistant Health and Human Services Secretary Admiral Brett Giroir told Fox News that the "end of the pandemic is in sight."
He expressed a "high degree of certainty" that by June 2021, "anyone in this country who wants a vaccine could have a vaccine."
"We do expect 20 million people immunized this month, 30 million people in January, and then another 50 million doses in February. Some of those will be first time recipients and some of those will be getting their second dose.
"And it will go up from there dramatically. So, we are absolutely on schedule, and it's very exciting. We have work to do right now, but the end of the pandemic is in sight -- it really is, and it's going to be mid-next year."