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Oct. 22, 2021, 6:14 a.m. EDT

Coronavirus tally: Global cases of COVID-19 top 242.5 million and CDC approves expanded booster program

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By Ciara Linnane

The global tally for the coronavirus-borne illness climbed above 242.5 million on Friday, while the death toll edged above 4.93 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University . The U.S. continues to lead the world with a total of 45.3 million cases and 733,218 deaths. The U.S. is averaging more than 1,500 deaths a day, according to a New York Times tracker, although cases and hospitalizations are declining. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday agreed to extend COVID-19 boosters to Americans who got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine and said anyone eligible for an extra dose can get a brand different to the one they got as primary dose, the Associated Press reported. The Food and Drug Administration had already authorized such an expansion of the nation's booster campaign on Wednesday, and it was also endorsed Thursday by a CDC advisory panel. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky had the final word on who gets the extra doses. India is second by cases after the U.S. at 34.1 million and has suffered 453,042 deaths. Brazil has second highest death toll at 604,679 and 21.7 million cases. In Europe, Russia has the most fatalities at 224,369 deaths, followed by the U.K. at 139,562.

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