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BREAKING NEWS: The Government has accepted @MHRAgovuk recommendation for authorisation of @OxfordVacGroup/@AstraZeneca‘s #COVID19 vaccine for use in the UK.This follows: clinical trials data analysis MHRA authorisation Read full statement:https://t.co/Q7axT6mXWN pic.twitter.com/Bw2PARzlBp— Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk) December 30, 2020The first doses will be released by the company on Wednesday, with a plan to begin administering the vaccine early next week, AstraZeneca said in a statement.The National Health Service will prioritize giving the first doses of the newly approved vaccine to those in the most high-risk groups.The vaccine will be given in two doses, with four to 12 weeks between doses, the U.K.-based pharmaceutical company said.Dec 29, 9:47 pmUS sees record hospitalizationsCOVID-19 hospitalizations have hit a record high in the U.S.There are 124,686 people currently hospitalized, according to the COVID Tracking Project. Our daily update is published. States reported 1.2 million tests, 195k cases, 124,686 hospitalizations, and 3,283 deaths. Holiday reporting delays are still markedly affecting testing, case, and deaths figures. pic.twitter.com/oRB8RvvvBA— The COVID Tracking Project (@COVID19Tracking) December 30, 2020There were also 194,512 new cases and 3,283 deaths reported on Tuesday, though the tracker noted that there are delays in both figures due to the holidays.“Current hospitalizations remains our most stable state-reported metric during holiday disruptions, and it will be our best guide to reality until states work through all Christmas + New Year’s backlogs,” it said.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. Ovidiu Dugulan/iStockBy ROSA SANCHEZ, ERIN SCHUMAKER, IVAN PEREIRA and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now infected more than 82 million people worldwide and killed over 1.7 million of them, according to real-time data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.Here’s how the news is developing Wednesday. All times Eastern:Dec 30, 8:38 amSunday predicted to be busiest travel day of pandemicOn Tuesday, 1,019,347 million people traveled through U.S. airports, according to the TSA.Experts predict that this Sunday will be the busiest travel day of the pandemic.Dec 30, 6:35 amTuesday was deadliest day in US during pandemicThe United States reported 3,725 deaths on Tuesday, breaking the previous single-day total of 3,656 set on Dec. 16, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.The current numbers may not give the complete picture as the holidays have significantly impacted data, with many states having not reported numbers or have given incomplete updates.December has already been determined to be the worst month on record for cases, hospitalizations and deaths, surpassing the high numbers seen in April.Dec 30, 5:49 amUK grants emergency authorization for AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccineA COVID-19 vaccine created by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford has been approved for emergency use in the United Kingdom.The U.K. Department of Health and Social care announced that it has accepted the recommendation from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to authorize the vaccine for use.“This follows rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA, which has concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness,” the Department of Health and Social care said in a press release.It is the second vaccine approved for use in the U.K. following the rollout of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.